Befana brings little gifts and treats to good children for La Festa dell'Epifania, the feast of the Epiphany (Jan. 6). Othen she leaves these gifts in their clothes or socks while they are asleep on Jan. 5. Some families supposedly have a Befana Dinner to celebrate Festa della Befana.

Below is a traditional rhyme about La Befana from DI FILASTROCCHE.IT

La Befana vien di notte,
con le scarpe tutte rotte,
s' scucita la sottana: s'e
viva, viva la Befana!

(La Befana comes by night,
shoes all broken,
ripped her skirt:
viva, viva la Befana!)

La Befana Dinner

It is a tradtion to serve Cenci (literally "ribbons" or "rags") on the eve of La Festa dell'Epifania. Befana travels from home to home her clothes with clothes patched with "ribbons" or "rags" may be the origin of the tradition of serving this Tuscan treat.


Beginning with 2 1/2 cups flour, make a stiff dough with all the ingredients, and knead it well. If the dough is soft, and an extra 1/4 cup of flour. As we said, it should be a fairly stiff dough. Knead until smooth, and then let rest, covered, for an hour.

Roll the dough out on a floured surface, until it is about 1/8 inch in thickness. Cut it into strips, about 1 1/2 by 3 inches, using a pastry cutting wheel. Make a slit down the middle of each cenci, and twist one end of the strip through this hole.

Fry a few Cenci in a large pot of hot vegetable oil. Carefully remove them from the oil when they are golden brown, and place them on paper towels to drain. Dust liberally with powdered sugar and serve. Cenci are best when freshly made. --From "La Befana and another Cenci recipe." As requested, all links to this site have been removed from this webpage. However, recipes cannot be copyrighted.

The Story of La Befana

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