Please join the Italian American-Historical Society of Connecticut for a presentation of the play, La Befana. Italian legend has it that La Befana is an old woman who travels at night bringing gifts or coal to children on The Feast of the Epiphany. We will also play Tombola (an Italian game like Bingo) and hear about some other feasts in Italy.
Bring yourself, friends, children, grandchildren and even your friends children to this Italian performance. Please join us even if you are the child.
We will be holding this event on Saturday, January 6, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. Location will be at 270 Fitch Street, New Haven. Large free parking lot next to the building. Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will be served. There is no charge but donations are accepted.
What: La Befana – the Play & Tombola
When: Saturday, January 6th at 10 a.m.
Where: Ethnic Heritage Center, 270 Fitch Street, New Haven
Large free parking lot next to the building. Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will be served.
There is no charge but donations are accepted.
Below is from the Book “Growing Up Italian American”:
• One of the myths Italian immigrants brought with them to America was the legend of “La Befana.” The Befana is an old woman on a magic broom who comes on Epiphany Eve and fills children’s socks with candy and presents if they are good or a lump of coal if they are bad. Children usually leave a glass of wine and a plate of food for her. The Befana, being a good housekeeper, also symbolically sweeps the floor of all family problems before she leaves.
• The legend of “La Befana” predates Santa Claus (“Babbo Natale”/Father Christmas) in Italy, who became popular only after World War II. According to Italian folklore, the Three Wise Men, while they were looking for the baby Jesus, happened upon the Befana, and she invited them to stay the night in her cottage. The next morning the Magi invited her to accompany them on their journey, but she declined. After they left, however, the Befana had second thoughts, so she filled a sack with gifts for the baby Jesus and set off alone to find the Christ child. Although she tried, she was unable to find the manger. So today, the Befana continues to travel the world on Epiphany Eve, searching every house for the baby Jesus and while she searches, she leaves candy and presents for good children—and coal for the bad.