For all those celebrating Christmas in Italy, you may obtain which you have the operate substantially harder so as to pass the ‘naughty or nice’ test and get your presents. Whilst the query of no matter if or not a youngster has been great is mainly just a threat to make sure fantastic behaviour throughout the festive season, it’s taken rather additional seriously in Italy.
When it comes to opening presents on Christmas Day, those with an Americanised view of the holiday might be a bit surprised to become presented with a big, ornate bowl complete of presents. They may possibly be a lot more surprised to find that the gift they choose turns out to be an empty box.
The distributor of gifts at Christmas in Italy isn’t Santa Claus, but Fate. The Urn of Fate – the aforementioned bowl – contains an array of presents for random selection. Every household member picks a present at random until they’re all gone.
The actual gift-giving does not take place until the 12th day of Christmas in Italy – Epiphany – once they are delivered by a broomstick-riding witch. La Befana is described as kind, yet ugly. Given that she is generating up to get a mistake she produced more than 2,000 years ago, this really is hardly surprising. She started her gift-giving just after she refused to provide the three sensible men food and shelter on their long journey to view Jesus and later regretted the choice.
She now delivers presents (including coal for naughty young children, even though other versions of the story describe her as meting out “punishments”) in the hope of giving a gift to the son of God, as she failed to accomplish two millennia ago. She slides down the chimney – significantly like Santa Claus, even though she has a far more appropriate figure for such an activity – and fills the shoes and stockings she finds in the bottom.
For all those celebrating Christmas in Italy, you may find that you have the work significantly harder in order to pass the ‘naughty or nice’ test and get your presents. While the question of whether or not a child has been good is mostly just a threat to ensure good behaviour during the festive season, it is taken rather more seriously in Italy.