Tuesday, January 06, 2009

To My Italian Neighbors In Carroll Gardens: Happy " La Befana" Day

Photo Credit: La prima web

Photo Credit: www.labefana.com

Photo credit: Li Zanzeri

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


The Befana comes at night
in tattered shoes
wearing a Roman hat
long live la Befana!

Happy "La Befana" Day To All My Italian Friends In Carroll Gardens.

So you thought Christmas was over, right? Well, yes, here in New York it is. I just dragged my Christmas tree out to the curb yesterday and put away all the decorations for another year.
However, in many countries, celebration continues with the Epiphany on January 6th, or Little Christmas to some. The day celebrates the arrival of the three magi, a.k.a. the wise men, in Bethlehem to see the infant Jesus.
In Italy, this January Day is associated with the charming legend of La Befana, a little old lady who preferred to do some house cleaning rather than to accompany the three wise men on their journey. Here is more on this adorable tradition:

La Befana is one of Italy's oldest and most celebrated legends. Each year on January 6 the children of Italy awaken in hopes that La Befana has made a visit to their house. The legend says: Three Wise Men were in search of the Christ child when they decided to stop at a small house to get information. Upon knocking, an old woman holding a broom opened the door slightly to see who was there. Three colorfully dressed men were at her doorstep, they wanted to get directions to find the Christ child. The old woman was unaware of who these three men were looking for and could not point them in the right direction. Prior to the three men leaving they kindly asked the old woman to join them on their journey. She declined because she had much housework to do. After they left she felt as though she had made a mistake and decided to go and catch up with the kind men. After many hours of searching she could not find them. Thinking of the opportunity she had missed the old woman stopped every child to give them a small treat in hopes that one was the Christ child. Each year on the eve of the Epiphany she sets out looking for the baby Jesus. She stops at each child's house to leave those who were good treats in their stockings and those who were bad a lump of coal.
From: JustItaly.org

Is anyone here in Carroll Gardens still celebrating this custom? How about organizing a La Befana Day Celebration In Carroll Park for 2010?

Anyone Interested?

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