St. Peter’s Square: Long Live the Befana

33rd Edition, Saturday, January 6, 2018

Vatican News Screenshot

Europae Fami.li.a ((Free Associated Families of Europe) organized the procession “Long Live the Befana [Old Woman who brings gifts to children]  2018.” In addition to the Organizing Committee many other social, cultural and sports volunteer associations are committed to “celebrate Epiphany in the sign of peace, solidarity, and fraternity among peoples,” stated a press release of the Association.

“Long live the Befana” was born in 1985, “to reinsert January 6 as a holiday in the civil calendar.” The participants come from various parts of Italy and from abroad – in this edition, from Abruzzo, Campania, Molise, Sardinia and from France, with a representation from the municipality of Cateau-Cambresis. From the beginning the organizers wished to stress the universality of the Epiphany, involving not only regional groups. Moreover, the feast is geared to uniting the Christian tradition and folkloric aspects linked to the “old Befana.”

Saturday, the procession made up of some 1,400 people reached St. Peter’s Square. Then, they created a representation of the Magi’s homage to Baby Jesus. Participation in “Long Live the Befana” is free; it’s an event organized by families for families.

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