Tuesday, 12 January 2016

La Befana

It has been a while since I have had time to write on here. Life over the holidays has been hectic. Now finally things are getting back to normal, school has started again and the usual tran tran of daily life has begun once more.

Paola Reina doll

This is my little "Brujita": Witch. A 32cm Paola Reina doll totally made in Spain. I love the quality of these dolls.I have just published a knitting pattern for her on Ravelry. See how angelic she can look? Yet we know she is plotting something just the same!

32 cm doll

In Italy there is the tradition of a witch bringing gifts on January 6th. When I first moved to the village there was no Santa Claus and kids would receive their gifts from the "La Befana".

Witch and Angel

When Jesus was born at Bethlehem the Wise Men followed the star to bring their gifts of gold, incense and myrh. They met an old lady and invited her to go with them, but she was very tired and refused. Afterwards she regretted not having accepted the invitation and tried to follow them but as she didn't know the way she couldn't reach them. 
Since then she brings sweets and gifts to the children hoping to find the Christchild. She flies on an old broom and leaves candy in the stockings hung by the chimney or the door. 

Paola Reina Pattern

 Beware though, if you are naughty she will bring you a piece of coal! 
There is a very famous race of the "Befana's" every year at Piazza Navona in Rome. It is a very popular event.

Paola Reina knitting pattern

A nearby Calabrian village has the tradition that on the night between January 5th and 6th all the animals can talk and from the two village fountains, instead of water, milk and oil flow. 
Animals are given lots of fodder that night so they won't speak badly about their owners!

Paola Reina Brujita

Here you can see how pretty her hair is. It has various colours. Her striped stockings match the colours!

Do you have any local traditions which are different from the usual Santa Claus? Who brings the gifts in your part of the world?


  1. We had Saint Nicolas who used to fill our sock with treats on Dec 6. I am from a German background, and I think the Dutch do it as well. Originally I think children put out their shoes to be filled, the traditions got mixed together and sometimes we would get a small toy as well as treats. There was that threat of coal, both on that day and Christmas!
    I have that doll as well. I have yet to remove her outfit!I really love her, and that colorful hair!

    1. I only removed her hat and tutu! Couldn't take those cute stockings off! She is lovely. I am glad you have her as well.
      It is interesting to find out about different customs!

  2. Hello Patricia thank you for your blog, recently I got an American doll for my daughter and I'm trying to knit some outfits I'm having trouble to read the instructions on the black area of the AGD Sera cardigan, could you please explain me the parts than I'm not able to read.
    Thank you for your time.

    1. I am not seeing a black area on the instructions but if you send me a pm with your email on ravelry or here (which I won't publish obviously) I can send you it in pdf form and maybe explain the part you are not sure about.