VATICAN CITY, VATICAN – JANUARY 06: Befana gathers in St Peter’s Square during the Feast of the … [+] Epiphany to attend the Pope Francis’ Angelus blessing on January 6, 2019 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images) Getty Images
Italy is in red zone lockdown these last festivity days but Italians haven’t forsaken a sacred ritual: the worshipping of an ugly old witch – aka the Befana. January 6 marks the Epifania (Epiphany) and it’s big time celebration – only this year, it will be at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before going to bed Children hang bright socks above the fireplace, the Befana flies by during the night and the next morning kids either find black candy charcoal (if they’ve been naughty) or chocolates, sweets, pocket money and little gifts. For many Italians it’s a more heartfelt, domestic festivity than globalized Christmas. But how did such a witchy party come to be? The Befana is a fascist prop.