Italians traditionally celebrate the Christmas season until January 6th the Feast of the Epiphany. Considered to be a national holiday in Italy, the Epiphany commemorates the 12th day of Christmas when the three Wise Men arrived at the manger bearing gifts for Baby Jesus. On the 12th night Eve, La Befana*, the Christmas witch arrives on her broomstick and fills children’s stockings with toys and sweets or lumps of candy coal. Holiday celebrations include a carnival in Rome, La Befana Races (Regatta della Befana) on Venice’s Grand Canal, the parade of The Three Kings in Milan and a 4 day festival in Urbania.
* La Befana means “epiphany of the gift-giver”