December 17, 2015

La Befana

photo courtesy of http://www.stregheria.com/Befana.htm
Long before Santa Claus flew through the sky in his shiny sleigh and eight wondrous reindeer it was a woman who flew on her broom, entering houses through chimneys to leave special goodies in the children's stockings.

A chimney was her only access, as all the houses were long houses of just think walls; no windows; no doors. Entry was made by climbing a ladder and entering the home through the roof. Then, to keep the inhabitants safe, the ladder was drawn up.

picture courtesy of http://www.ottawaitalians.com/Heritage/befana.htm
 She is a loving woman. She is a good woman.

She has a broom.

We turned her image into a sinister icon...oh no.....a woman on a broom. Run, hide or burn her.

But it was a cool idea about delivering gifts to good little boys and girls. Of course, the flying part is going to have to stay because how else can all the children be reached in one evening?

Both links on images can take you to the story of Befana. They both tell it better than I can.

I collect Santas. I have some incredibly beautiful dudes. Hand carved wood, cloth bodies and velvet robes, modern and old Saint Nicks!

Sitting on the sofa yesterday, admiring my guys, it dawned on me...Where was La Befana? How could I not have at least one beautiful, glorious flying woman on her magic broom and bag full of toys for the precious children?

I need her before Christmas. I need to tell her story to my granddaughters. If our culture doesn't accept a God that looks like them, then we sure as hell can have a Santa that looks like them!


So, on Christmas Eve don't forget to hang the stockings, leave milk and cookies for Santa and cheesecake and a glass of Cianti for Befana! 


Merry Christmas, Friends!

13 comments:

  1. Also collect Santss. may need a bigger mantle in the next house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many beautiful Santas and so little mantle space!

      Delete
  2. A charming alternative Christmas giver of goodies!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe Befana will come to our home this year and we'll let Santa know he can keep the reindeer off our roof.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Befana has a very sophisticated palate!

      Delete
  4. I have never heard of her and I love her story. Isn't it amazing how things evolve over the centuries? What was wrong with her that they needed to change her? Thanks for the lesson.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure why we changed the story. Maybe having a magical, loving and selfless woman was not politically correct.

      Delete
  5. I do love this post. What a charming regale. I have never heard of her, did the Santa thing play off of her? Love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. I love her story too. Parts of Santa were taken from La Befana and the other parts of her were vilified.

      Delete
  6. Merry Christmas to you too. This is the first time I have heard of Befana. Cool story. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Merry Christmas to you and your Shifettes! Glad I could introduce you to something new. You, on the other hand, have taught me to not take the little one in my care to mall lice farms!

    ReplyDelete

Comment Please but Play Nice!