Happy befana day!

Cart and I were at the mall the other day to buy some pandoro and panettone.


These baked treats are commonly seen during Christmas but they are usually sold at a discount after the first of January, so we wanted to get some to last us for many week’s worth of breakfast.

While we were on our way towards the hypermarket, there was still the presepio, or the nativity scene display there. For me, it was interesting to see the diorama as I’ve never seen anything like that growing up in Singapore. The only one I’ve seen prior coming to Rome is probably the one from Mr Bean.

But there were so many here in Rome, even in the scuola elementaria where I used to patronise.


According to Cart, the nativity scene is a reflection of life during the birth of Jesus and on the days leading to the 24th of December, there will be an empty manger and when midnight strikes, a little baby will be placed inside.

Coincidentally last Saturday was the first day of sale in Italy so there would be a lot of people conglomerating around and the atmosphere could feel quite claustrophobic and chaotic. Better to avoid unless you’re a die hard discount hunter. But we weren’t there for the sale, and instead managed to reach ipercoop.

To my surprise, I saw rows and rows of decorated socks filled with candy and I realised that they were sold in anticipation of the upcoming befana festival on the 6th of January.


I really wanted a pair of this one, but it’s quite pricey at 7 euro each. 

When I first arrived in Rome about five years ago, I felt the befana was more popular and given more importance compared to Santa Claus. In a way, the Befana is similar to Father Christmas in which she drops down chimneys, brings candies and presents to children or coal if they were bad. She’s thought to be a witch due to her always being with a broom, but she’s said to be a housekeeper instead and sweeps the floor after her visits.


I don’t understand the connection between the socks and the befana though, and I peeked into one of the socks. Interestingly, I saw a candy shaped to look like coal. Good for when the kid is both naughty and nice 😛

2 Replies to “Happy befana day!”

  1. 3 times i’ve been to Italy but could never seem to understand why they have witches with broom displayed all over the shops and supermarkets…now i know, thanks so much for this quick info. ^0^
    I was actually tempted to buy one home as a souvenir but decided against it.

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