Sterling Silver Small Witch Charms
Overall Size : 10mm x 10mm x 4mm = ~3/8+" x 3/8" x 1/8"
Metal : .925 Silver - Solid Sterling Silver
- Made in the USA
Comes with a Sterling Silver Jump-ring (not shown)
Sold by : Charm
The Befana - Since I was a child, my Nonna (Italian for Grandmother) put up a flying witch in her kitchen or fireplace mantel near Christmas...
I had always wondered... Why? Then one day I asked & she told me....
A paradoxical fixture in Italian Epiphany celebrations for centuries, Befana is the subject of popular folktales and the center of much merrymaking. Village men impersonate her in weird costumes as they parade through the streets on January 6. At other times her name is invoked with greater seriousness, as in ancient incantations entreating her to send a fruitful harvest or, perhaps, to cure the 'Evil Eye
'. She is widely adored, even revered, yet she is also burned in effigy. The burning of Befana is designed to return the old life to the new life, the decay of Winter feeding the soil of Spring. For the figure of Befana as a crone, is merely the reflection of her having aged by Winter. From Spring Equinox, Befana is born again, life renewed, and returns as Fana the woodland goddess of Spring.
Befana's name likely derives from the name of the feast day with which she is associated in popular lore-- Epifania (Epiphany), from a Greek term meaning 'manifestation'. Others say she shares the name of an Etruscan goddess. She is coarse, toothless, and unkempt -- one of the poor folk connected to ancestral spirits as a mythical ancestress who returns yearly. Through her timeless visits to the family hearth, her function is that of reaffirming the bond between the family and the ancestors through an exchange of gifts. The children receive gifts from Befana, which in ancient times were representations of ones ancestors, to whom offerings of food were set near the hearth (very much like cookies and milk are set out for Santa Claus.) In Tuscany and elsewhere the Befana appears in street processions as a masked figure guiding a band of postulates who receive offers from families (and who, in turn, receive the gift of prosperity from Befana's blessings.). Italian witches, known as Strega, walk the path of the Old Religion.