Happy Sagan’s Day everybody.
And to help us celebrate here is ‘The Pale Blue Dot’. 🙂
My family an I have just spent the last day dedicated to our extended Yuletide season, it began on the 6th of December with the locally celebrated day of Saint Nicholas, included the celebration of the Solstice and the birthday of my son, the travelling to London to be with my mother for Christmas, returning home for New Year celebrations and came to a ‘close’ yesterday with La Befana.
La Befana comes by night
With her shoes all tattered and torn
She comes dressed in the Roman way
Long life to the Befana!
La Befana is a black shawled, soot covered, broomstick riding old woman who delivers sweets, or coal to children on the during the night between the 5th and the 6th of January. Although her appearance is decidedly witch-ish many in Italy will fervently state that she is not.
Her popular Christian story is that she was approached by the biblical three kings a few days before Christ’s birth. They asked for directions to where the baby Jesus was, but she did not know. She provided them with shelter for a night, as she was considered the best housekeeper in the village with the most pleasant home. They invited her to join them on the journey to find the baby Jesus, but she declined, stating she was too busy with her housework. Later, she had a change of heart, and tried to search out the astrologers and Jesus. That night she was not able to find them, so to this day, La Befana is searching for the baby Jesus (Source: Wikipedia).
The Pagan characteristics of La Befana is clear for all to see and there is some suggestion that this mother of all children is descended from the Sabine/Roman goddess named Strenia. A goddess of strength, endurance and the new year.