Past Event 2020

Please join us for one of our first in-person events since early 2020.

We will have a performance of La Befana, the play, on Saturday, January 7th 2023 at 1 p.m. at the Ethnic Heritage Center in New Haven.

What: La Befana – the Play, Tombola & Crafts

When: Saturday, January 7th at 1 p.m.

Where: Ethnic Heritage Center, 270 Fitch Street, New Haven

We will also play Tombola (an Italian game like Bingo) and have some crafts for children.

(For those of you attending Italian Language Class in the morning, a pizza lunch will be ordered).

This is a FREE event with a large free parking lot next to the building. Coffee, hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

This is for adults (even if in name only) AND children.  Also bring friends, grandchildren and even your friend’s children to this entertaining Italian performance.  Masks are optional.

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.

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