Naples is the city of Christmas which is expecting many tourists every year; it’s actually the busiest touristic period! The city is super alive and it feels like one big Christmas market. People come to see San Gregorio Armeno, the famous Neapolitan Christmas street full of craftsman stores of handmade nativity (it. presepe); or to try wonderful Neapolitan Christmas sweets.
This article is dedicated to one more very important Christmas character loved by the Neapolitan children – Befana. The name Befana comes from Greek “Epifania” which means the 6th of January. On the Epiphany Eve, in Naples (as well as in all Italy) so-called Befana brings candies to all the children.
There are few different stories explaining who is this Befana, but my favorite one is this Christian legend: Befana met three kings just some days before the baby Jesus was born. It was late and dark that they couldn’t find the guiding star anymore, so, they asked Befana for directions where the son of god was. But she didn’t know. Instead, she offered them to take a rest for the night at her house. Next morning three kings left to search for the baby Jesus and after a few days they found him. This news quickly spread around the globe and reached the ears of Befana. She baked some sweets and went on a search for this baby, but she couldn’t find him anymore. Until this day Befana is still in search, and once a year she visits all the children just in case she’d find the baby Jesus. To every child she leaves a sock full of sweets. For the children who were good all the year, she gives the best sweets and for naughty ones with the sweets she mixes some carbon too.
In Naples on the Epiphany Eve you can see many candy sellers in the streets. The most famous place for it is Piazza Mercato (the market square) full of people selling and buying sweets until late night.
This year on the 6<sup>th</sup> of January in Piazza Plebiscito will be held a free entry event dedicated to the favorite Italian witch who will come to give away some sweet candy. Make sure to come at about 10:30 not to miss this important event. And after that, don’t forget to take a walk at the Caracciolo seaside where the street artists will entertain Befana fans.
Come to Visit Naples and enjoy Epifania!