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    • Tomorrow in Italy the Epiphany Festival is celebrated. The religious meaning can be read on the internet (the Three Kings), here I will tell you about the popular tradition. In Italy it is called "the Befana"; for us it's a civil holiday, it's the last day of the Christmas holidays for both children from school and adults from work. "The Epiphany that all holidays take away"
      The Befana is a nice old woman who, dressed in rags, riding a flying broom, brings gifts and sweets to the children who have been good, while to those who have been bad, she brings coal 🙃 The sweets and coals are put in a sock. Over the years, coal has given way to sugar coal and the socks that were once old socks have given way to socks made by famous brands of sweets, with images of the most famous characters of the cartoons. When I was a child, the night before the befana, I hung my empty sock on the bed (I didn't have a fireplace), in the morning I found it full of delicious candies (mom and dad filled it ..). But now the children choose their Befana stocking at supermarkets or stalls🤷‍♀️

    • In some Italian cities they make the Befana markets, the most famous is that of Piazza Navona in Rome

    • I know that Epiphany is celebrated in other European countries too. Do you have a tradition to celebrate the Three Kings in your country?

    • also in Italy it is traditional to dive into the waters of the seas or lakes. it's a race for daredevils since the water is freezing! 🥇 thanks for sharing🙏

    • The mention of coal stirs a childhood memory in me.

      Much of my childhood was spent in the north west of the UK, just north of Liverpool, and my grandparents had a curious New Years' Eve custom.

      A family member (different each year) stood outside with a piece of coal. As the clock struck midnight, they would knock on the front door. When opened they would step across the threshold into the house, thus "bringing in the coal".

      The idea was that this would bring the family good fortune in the coming year. Obviously, if the year was punctuated by disaster, that person was not asked to bring in the coal for some time!

      The custom seems to have dies. We don't do it now, and I can't quite remember when we decided to let it go.

      Nevertheless, it is a strong childhood memory.