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.