Sunday, 6 January 2008

Viva Viva la Befana!

As far as I know La befana is a whole Italian tradition, and once it was the only occasion in which children were given gifts! The Coca-cola hadn't provide Santa yet! (Before I was born, of course!)

When I was a child I accurately chose the socks to put near the window (we haven't a fireplace, so...). They had to be long, and strong enough to stand the weight of all my sweets... Before the 6th I wrote a letter to her explaining what a good girl I had been, but I've always found a bit of coal inside, which is the gift for those children who didn't behave very well, probably it was a way to explain that we can always improve!

Once, I saw her coming to our house, she arrived not flying on a sweep, but with an old Fiat Cinquecento; me, my sister and my cousins were outside in that very moment, playing something or running, I cannot remember, but what I cannot forget is that I was so scared... My cousin, who was a little older, and couldn't believe in such things, went on claiming that she was a fake, but the thing was that all our relatives were there, so it was hard to identify her real identity. To my eyes she actually was the real Befana, and I think that was the better gift I could receive!

...something like 10 years later we finally managed to understand who she was, anyway that's not important, our parents organized a marvellous surprise!

La befana vien di notte
con le scarpe tutte rotte
col vestito alla romana
viva viva la Befana!