Epiphany is a very particular feast. Always welcomed with joy but also with a little bit of sadness because it marks the end of the Christmas holidays. There are some really interesting things to know about this event:
THE LEGEND: January 6 the Magi Kings arrived in Bethlehem and gave their presents (gold, incense and myrrh) to the Baby Jesus. Legend says that the three Kings, unable to find their way to Bethlehem, asked informations to an old woman that refused their invitation to follow them to visit the Baby Jesus. Later the old woman changed her mind about the refusal and prepared a basket full of sweets and went to look for the Kings. She didn’t find them and so decided to stop in every house giving something to the children hoping that one of them was Jesus.
SWEETS OR COAL: Tradition says that on the night between 5 and 6 January this old woman continues to bring sweets, dried fruits, candies and toys in homes around the world. In the past with these things there was also coal which with time became a symbol of punishment for children who didn’t behave well during the year.
EPIPHANY STOCKING: The reason why the presents of the Epiphany are put in the stockings derives from the fact that they are indispensable garments to combat the cold, so they are very used in this period of the year. They are also perfect containers, as enlargeable, and available for everyone, from the poorest to the richest.
NEAPOLITANS MARKETS: The night of January 5 is characterized by the presence of various markets around Naples where is possible to buy sweets, toys, epiphany stockings and various gifts. Visitors like to frequent these places until late night in order to live the folklore and the deeply rooted customs of this city. One of the most famous markets is that we can find in Market Square (Piazza Mercato).
STREET PARTIES: This night is also characterized by the many festivals helds in the squares and in the most famous places of Naples. In particular Pebliscito Squadre, Spaccanapoli and Caracciolo street, volunteer themselves to the representation of shows and fun activities for children.