Le Marche another Italy
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Le Marche another Italy
Le Marche encompasses everything one would want from Italy. Incredible countryside from the Sibillini mountains to the glorious coastline, classic landscapes, castellated hilltops towns, culture, art, music, indoor, outdoor and watersports, wonderful wildlife, fun, delicious food and wines, quality fashions and footwear, museums, churches, culture, history – so much to do and see. Experience life to its fullest – experience Le Marche!
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Babbo Natale (Santa) vs. Befana (the old flying Witch) - La Dolce Vallata

Babbo Natale (Santa) vs. Befana (the old flying Witch) - La Dolce Vallata | Le Marche another Italy | Scoop.it

Are your Christmas traditions revolving around indoor trees (real and plastic) and a plump, bearded man sliding down chimneys? Here in Le Marche, in Central Italy the old tradition involve a simple or complex nativity scene and an old woman flying with a broom. [...]

Mariano Pallottini's insight:

Christmas Traditions in Le Marche Area: Babbo Natale (Santa) vs. Befana (the old flying Witch)

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The TIME gives the Link to the Urbania's "Festa della Befana" telling us about "The Quirky Ways 7 Other Countries Celebrate Christmas"

The TIME gives the Link to the Urbania's "Festa della Befana" telling us about "The Quirky Ways 7 Other Countries Celebrate Christmas" | Le Marche another Italy | Scoop.it

Only in Italy do the witches bring gifts to children. That’s La Befana, a broom-flying, kindly witch who effectively takes over from Santa–in Italy, “Babbo Natale”—about two weeks after Christmas on Epiphany to deliver gifts to the good, and ash to the bad. Though the witch has her roots in the pre-Christian pagan tradition, she features in some tellings of the Christmas story in Italy — as an old woman who refuses to give the Wise Men directions to Bethlehem because she is too busy cleaning, and is forced to ride a broomstick for eternity as a result. The town of Le Marche, in northwestern Italy, celebrates her coming every January.

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Festa della Befana - La Befana Festival in Urbania Le Marche, Italy

Under 30 seconds - a quick look at the Festa della Befana in Urbania (Le Marche) Italy 2014. An Italian festival day. Filmed by La Tavola Marche - Jason Bartner & Ashley Bartner

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Children tell you the story of the Befana in Le Marche

Children tell you the story of the Befana in Le Marche | Le Marche another Italy | Scoop.it

The "Befana" is an ugly old woman, who brings gifts to the good children on Epiphany Eve. She wears a black shawl on hear head and her dress is dirty of soot because she goes into the houses through the chimney. If children had been "bad" instead of sweet or toys they will find onions soot, garlic and coal in their stockings. That's why children during the weeks before Epiphany try to be more patient, good, rund and obedient than usual. On Epiphany eve children are very excited and curious too, still they go to bed very early, after they had hung their stocking on the fireplace. On Epiphany day they wake up very early in the morning, and they hurry to discover what the Befana left for them: some children will be very happy, some other will feel disappointed...

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Santa Claus vs Befana in Le Marche

Santa Claus vs Befana in Le Marche | Le Marche another Italy | Scoop.it

In Le Marche folklore, Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children filling their socks with candy and presents (if they are good or a lump of coal or dark candy if they are bad), throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus.
The character may have originated in central Italy, then spread as a tradition to the rest of Italy.
There is evidence to suggest that Befana is descended from the Sabine/Roman goddess named Strina.

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Italian Festival – Come With Me & Meet Befana

Italian Festival – Come With Me & Meet Befana | Le Marche another Italy | Scoop.it

6th January Italian Festival – Come with me and meet Befana.  By Amanda Brake, Frost’s Le Marche correspondent. <<Finally, shaking off our reluctance, we hurried into coats and boots, and we set off for our small town of Amandola. By the time we arrived things were just about getting started; in fact witches were everywhere.>>[...]

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I love Festa della Befana, Urbania Festival 2014 - An Italian Festival of Food, Music & Befana!

A short film capturing the magic of Befana with the smell of roasted chestnuts and spiced wine, the cold air fills with festive music as Befana's of all ages descend upon the cobblestone streets to celebrate in Urbania (Le Marche) Italy. 
La Befana is believed to hail from the medieval village of Urbania in Le Marche Italy. In Italian folklore, La Befana delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on the night of January 5th, the Eve of Epiphany. In addition to delivering gifts, she will sweep the floor before she leaves! It is customary to set out a glass of wine and snacks to thank her for cleaning the house!

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The Feast of the Epiphany and Celebration of La Befana

The Feast of the Epiphany and Celebration of La Befana | Le Marche another Italy | Scoop.it

According to the Italian legend, La Befana, a witch-like woman riding on a broom, refused to join the Wise Men on their journey to see the baby Jesus. When she regrets her decision, she sets out to bring gifts to the Child but never finds him. Instead, she leaves gifts for other children. Italian children leave out their shoes or put up stockings for the Befana to fill on January 5th, Epiphany Eve.

And the legend continues that every Epiphany Eve, the old, tattered and soot-covered Befana flies around the world on a broomstick and comes down chimneys to deliver candy and presents to children who have been good during the year. For those who have fallen a bit short of model behavior, la Befana will leave lumps of coal.  Knowing that all kids can’t be perfect year-round, some shops in Italy sell carbone or black rock candy that actually looks like pieces of coal…so even those not quite perfect can still enjoy a sweet treat.

Unlike Santa Claus, La Befana has been an Italian tradition since the XIII century and comes from Christian legend rather than pop culture.

The arrival of la Befana is celebrated with traditional Italian foods such as panettone and marks the end of the long and festive holiday season in Italy. In honor of the Three Wise Men, Italians go to church and enjoy spending the day with family. [...]

Mariano Pallottini's insight:

http://www.labefana.com/ 

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Urbania Befana Feast from January 2 to 6 (National Befana Feast)

Urbania Befana Feast from January 2 to 6 (National Befana Feast) | Le Marche another Italy | Scoop.it
For five days the beautiful town of Urbania in the Marche region will celebrate the National Feast of the Befana, the old witch who, in the Italian folklore delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5).
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