Little Christmas, or The Epiphany, or Second Christmas is on January sixth. In Italian homes, La Befana visits late the evening before and leaves small gifts for the children in their stockings. She quietly goes on her way.... walking, walking looking for The Christ Child.
Italian legend has it that the three wisemen stopped at La Befana's door to ask for directions to where Baby Jesus lay. They invited La Befana to travel with them, but she declined because she had to sweep and clean her home. The next morning she awoke full of regret. She decided to try and find The Babe on her own.
(Dish painted by Carolee Clark, King of Mice Sutdio, )
Now she is seen walking and sweeping across the land, carrying her broom and sack, looking for Baby Jesus. She visits each home and leaves small treats and gifts for each of the sleeping children, hoping to find the Holy Child.
Little gifts and a treat were left at Nonna's for the four little ones. They will open them tonight, and I will take some photos.
La Befana vien di notte
Con le scarpe tutte rotte
Col vestito alla romana
Viva, Viva La Befana!
The English translation is
The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long life to the Befana!