Do you know why in Italy January 6th is a holiday?
Epiphany holds a lot of traditions in Italy, varying from town to town. The imagery of an old ugly lady, flying around leaving gifts or carbon, both scares and attracts kids, and it’s therefore often the protagonist of folkloristic events.
For example, in Verona, on January 6th in one of the main squares, a 10m tall figure representing the old befana will be burned in order to avoid bad luck.
In Urbania, a small town in the Marche region, the Epiphany is called “national holiday of the befana” and the whole town celebrates with music, festivities and events such as the descending of the befane from the main tower of the city.
In other cities like Bologna, Florence and Milan, the holiday January 6th is celebrated with a more Christian-related representation: parades of the three wise men will march along the main streets and churches, to end in a set of the nativity scene.
These are a few examples of the Epiphany traditions in Italy. Fireworks, markets, food and warm wine will accompany the celebrations. And this day will mark the end of the Christmas period in Italy.
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