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Befana is a mythical character very loved by Italian children. She is an extremely old and ugly lady, similar to a witch, that brings sweets to kids in the night between the 5th and the 6th of January, on Epiphany Eve. She travels from house to house by flying on her magic broom and she carries the gifts in a very old sack. Before going to bed, all the children hang up their stockings next to the fireplace, as Befana will put the presents inside them. If the children have behaved well during the year, she brings candies and chocolate, mandarins and walnuts, bubble gum cigarettes and torrone bars. However, if the children have behaved bad, she brings just coal. Before her arrival, it is strongly advised to set the table with some snacks for her, like fruit and biscuits. Here is a typical nursery rhyme that celebrates Befana’s character:

La Befana vien di notte

con le scarpe tutte rotte

col cappello alla romana 

viva viva la Befana!  

Which means:

Befana comes by night,

With very broken shoes,

With a Roman style hat,

Hurrah for Befana!

Tags: traditions; Christmas; presents; sweets; stocking. 

Question: When does Befana bring sweets?

  1. On Christmas Eve
  2. On Epiphany Eve
  3. On Easter Eve

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