Monday, December 5, 2011

Winter Spirits~ La Befana

La Befana Nursery Rhyme


La Befana vein di notte
conle sharpe tutte rotte
col vestito all "romana"
viva viva la Befana!!

Porta cenere e carboni
ai bambini cattivoni
ai babini belli e buoni
porta chicchi e tantidoni!


The Befana comes by night
With her shoes all broken
With her dress in Roman style
Up, Up with the Befana!!

She brings ashes and coal
To bad nasty children
To the nice good child
She brings candies and many gifts!

La Befan, the Chritmas Witch , the Christmas Faery rides through the skies on her broom stick carrying gifts for good little girls and boys. She does not come on Christmas Eve like our dear old Santa Claus, but on Twelfth Night. Twelfth night is on January 5 and is the eve of the feast of the Epiphany.

I like the idea of a Christmas Witch. to me she is the female counterpart to Santa. Plus she comes on a different night so if you aren't good for Santa maybe, just maybe you can be good until Twelfth Night so la Befana will leave you a few gifts.

Unlike the milk and cookies we leave Santa, la Befana like a other foods. She seems to like cake or bread and some wine. Who wouldn't like wine? Sounds much better than milk. Just don't leave her to much. she is flying on her broom stick and we don't want any accidents. In The Book of Faeries by Francis Melville it states that la Befana likes sausage and broccoli and a glass of wine. I think that sounds like a fine Twelfth Night meal to share with la Befana.

I hope you are all good little boys and girls so la Befana doesn't have to leave ashes and cola in your stockings. Please be good so the wonderful Christmas Witch can leave you some yummy treats and magical gifts.


  1. She does look a little bit kinder than your average witch. What a contrast to Santa's plate of delicate cookies and milk, this old girl goes for broccoli, sausage and wine...girl power!!

  2. Aww, how awesome & sweet. :)

    I like the idea of a Christmas witch too.

  3. Such a great story. I heard about La Befana before, because she's European too ; ) In Italy she's very, very popular.
    Have a great day.

  4. I never heard of her. I learned about a Christmas witch!

  5. Is La Befana the same as Baba Yaga? She's an Italian Witch too. Several years ago at Chrismas my Sister in an old coven I used to belong to sent me a little rad doll that represents Baba Yaga...when I opened the box and saw that thing it really took me aback and I wouldn't pick her up for a few days. Now she stays right by me bed and I adore her :)
    I'll have to do a bit of research on her now that you've posted about La Befana.
    Great Post Vivienne! I enjoyed it. I love learning about other cultures and beliefs, especially with long held traditions on Holidays.
    Have an Awesome Week!
    Blessings on the Gentle Winds to You and Your Girls...

  6. That's such a cute nursery rhyme. ^-^

    I think it's lovely that there's a Christmas witch. I was never overly fond of Santa... creepy old geezer. A witch suits me much better. =D


  7. V ~ Cool poem! Have you ever read any of Raven Grimassi's books on Italian Witchcraft (Straga Nostra)? Pretty interesting stuff! I just love reading all about different traditions and all kinds of mythology.



  8. I had not heard of La Befana, a very cool witch indeed. Celebrating twelfth night has been a tradition of mine forever perhaps I will have to add a little la befana to the mix.
    Have a great day.
    Always, Queenie

  9. My husband is from an Italian background so he knows a little about La Befana. All these old European traditions are fascinating!

  10. I like this Christmas witch ;o) I might join in on the wine with her ;o)Thanks so much for sharing this Vivienne ;o) Big Hugs and many blessings my friend ;o)

  11. My maternal grandmother (Nonna) was Italian and a very powerful influence on our family. We always hung our stockings up on January 6th, hoping that the Good Witch La Befana would fill them with candy. She never failed us!

    Blessings, Victoria

  12. Hi Art Bliss

    She does look very kind. I love the fact the she likes REAL food instaed og sissy cookie. Girl Power indeed!

    Winter Blessings, V.

  13. Hi Real Queen of Horror

    I like the idea of a Christmas Witch too. She seems so much sweeter than Santa.

    Winter Blessings, V.

  14. Hi Moncha

    Thank you! I wish I could visit italy so i could see how she is celebrated by the children.

    Winter Blessings, V.

  15. Hi wicKED

    I'm happy you learned something from my blog today. I always love to discover something new!

    Winter Blessings, V.

  16. Hi AkasaWolfSong

    I'm not sure if they are the same but when I thibnk of one I think of the other as well. Maybe they are Sister Witches. I would love to see a picture of your rag doll Baba Yaga.

    Thank you for the blessings.

    Winter Blessings of Peace and Love to you my friend, V.

  17. Hi TheBlakkDuchess

    I find the mall santas to be the creepiest of them all. I think the Christmas witch suits me as well. As for Santa, when I look at my Santa decor I think of Odin the AllFather. He's not as nasty as some lore would make him out to be.

    Winter Blessings to you and Britt, V.

  18. Hi kim

    Thank you! I have Grimassi's Hereditary Witchcraft. I would love to read his Italian Witchcraft book. Is it any good? I love learning about diffent traditions and lore as well. It helps me to grow as a witch.

    Winter Blessings, V.

  19. Hi Queenie

    Yes, she is a very cool witch. Please share with us if you celebrate la Befana this Twelfth Night. I would love to see what you do.

    Winter Blessings, V.

  20. Hi Little Gothic Horrors

    I would love to pick your husband brain on some of the old lore and superstitions he must know. I love all the old lore as well. There is so much that has been kept alive!

    Winter Blessings, V.

  21. Hi Magic Love Crow

    I think I'll join you both in that glass of wine. I hate milk.

    Hugs and Winter Blessings to you my friend, V.

  22. Hi Victoria

    It must be awesome to have learned so much from your Nonna. I hope la Befana leaves me lots of chocalate!!!

    Winter Blessings, V.

  23. Yay!! Beautiful tribute to la befana! we were raised with her as our christmas crone..and wait for her on Jan this is very special to me..gorgeous image and I love all the songs and poems dedicated to her! When I was a little kid..the other kids in school thought it was so cool that we had a christmas witch as our tradition. we would read the stories and sometimes someone would dressed up as her! Thanks for this beautiful tribute..yay!

  24. Hi V~

    So happy you enjoyed this post. That is awesome that you grew up with her as your Christmas crone. I just had Santa.

    Winter Blessings and Hugs, V.

  25. What a brilliant idea to have a female counterpart to Santa.
    We really need to redress the imbalance here too!

    Blessings & Hugs Y

  26. Hi Ygraine

    I agree. I think things will change for the better soon concerning the imbalance of the world.

    Hugs and Blessings, V.

  27. I lived in Italy on and off for a few years and throughly enjoyed Befana's "visitations" - great post!

  28. Hi merricat

    Thanks for stopping by and I'm happy you liked the post.