In Italian folklore, Befana is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus.
2011 Epiphany weekend's extremely rich in events throughout Tuscany. For those who are about to spend the weekend of the Epiphany in Tuscany here is a useful list of events:
The "Befana" descends from Torre del Mangia - Back "Pompieropoli" in Piazza del Campo in the day of Epiphany, the classic event organized by the command of the firemen of Siena. An event that inspires this many children for what has become a nice tradition of Siena. Pompierolpoli will start at 10.30 am with many exhibitions and demonstrations for children in the square, to finish at 5:00pm with the descent of the nice old woman riding on her broom directly from the Torre del Mangia.
Not only "Befana" - Far from brooms, broken shoes and clothes to the peasant, the Epiphany revived Florentine atmosphere is definately folk and very sacred. The tradition of Florence for January 6 includes the famous "Ride of the Magi" which has been known since 1417. From 2.30pm in Piazza del Duomo the historical parades will take place with the performance of the Choir of the Pomegranate. The set will start at 2.30pm from Piazza Pitti and a group of pipers will wander the streets of Florence to Piazza Signoria. Then at 2:55pm the procession of the Florentine Republic moves from Piazza Signoria to Piazza Duomo, where will takes place at 3.30 the set, the greeting, the reading of the Gospel and the outbreak of colubrina. After that, in addition to the symbolic launch of balloons with messages of peace, the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore presents to children gifts in square wooden cribs made in Bethlehem.
Medieval epiphany in Castellina in Chianti - To return to more mundane things, Castellina in Chianti arranges for the Epiphany a fascinating journey through his medieval times. The Castellina village comes alive in the afternoon with the marketplace of artisans enriched by tasting the most typical products of Chianti. There are also planned activities for children.
A Radda in Chianti XXI Epiphany Concert - This year the Choral S. Nicholas in collaboration with the City of Radda in Chianti, renews the traditional Epiphany concert, now in its twenty-first edition this year.
The concert will be performed on January 5 at 9.15pm in the parish church of St. Nicholas. Will give life to the choral concert, Song Nova and the Choir of Choirs edited by Maestro Daniel Dori. The direction of the concert is entrusted to Maestro Michael Manganelli, organist Maestro Daniel Dori. During the concert will be performed music by Bach, Mozart, Vivaldi, Bartolucci.
The "Befana" comes at night ... with poems, stories and dinner - Wednesday, January 5 at 5:30pm at Circolo MCL of Tavarnelle Val di Pesa the Association of Poems of the Chianti Fiorentino with the participation of the Group Theatre "Chiediscena" will organize a special evening of poetry, theater and snack for children and adults. Free admission.