Christmas In Italia

If you come by room 306 you will see what we have been up to in V44. What have we been up to? Well we have been learning about Buon Natale or Christmas in Italy. As you may know in Italy they eat a lot of pizza and macaroni. Here some ways they celebrate Christmas in Italy.

Manger scenes or Nativity54569zooma

In Italy a very religious and catholic country the Nativity is a major symbol of Christmas time. You see pictures and statues of the Christ child’s Birth everywhere. They consist of figurines, in clay or plaster , of the infant Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

Italian Santa Claus, Strega Nona and La Befana6a00b8ea0716eb1bc000cd9703b4094cd5-500pi

In the United States you are familiar with Santa Claus or St. Nick. He comes down the Chimney and brings presents to good people. Not so in Italy.

In our class we read a book Christmas Strega Nona.It is based on the story of the Befana. In the book Strega Nona a witch has magic. It is Christmas Eve and Strega Nona did not want to use her magic, because she felt Christmas had it’s own magic. She tells her nephew Big Anthony to do chores for her. But he does not do them. This makes Strega Nona very upset because now they cannot have their Christmas Celebration. So Strega Nona goes to mass and she lets every one know that she will not be having the annual Christmas feast. She returns home and everybody surprises her with a beautiful Christmas feast that Anthony put together. big_anthonyStrega Nona is surprised at how thoughtful Big Anthony was.

This story comes from an ancient tradition in Italy. The tradition of La Befana. aosta_1It is said that Befana lived in the town of Aosta in Northern Italy. The story of La Befana says that Befana an old women or witch is working very hard. sm_010_8_0001-copyThey call her Busy Befana. She cleans her house and bakes all kinds of treats. She works all day.

magi_in_cammino_small When Christ is born, The Three kings pass her house on the way to Bethelehem to see the Christ child. They invite her to take the journey with them to find the Christ Child. She says she is too busy. Sweeping Constantly.

befana012She goes to sleep and the Christmas star wakes her up. She changes her mind and wishes she went with the three kings.

She goes to find the three kings and angels come and help her fly. She brings her baked gifts to all the good children and looks for the three wise men. To the bad children she brings coal and ashes. Now every year in Italy the good and bad children wait for the Befana, their version of Santa Claus.

9 responses

  1. I enjoyed reading all of the information about La Befana. I will stop by to see your room with student work.

    December 18, 2008 at 11:34 am

  2. Hey Ms Cunningham’s class…. We are doing Italy also. I love your site. It is so informational and cheery! Please come visit our site too!!

    Class X03

    December 18, 2008 at 12:12 pm

  3. Ms. Cunningham

    I am so proud of all my students. They really worked hard on this project. Special Thanks to Mr. Joe and Ms. J for really putting extra time and effort with our class!!! Remember La Befana is watching you!!! 🙂 Can’t wait to see you guys perform on the 23rd…. Dominick The Donkey!!!! Buon Natale!

    December 18, 2008 at 12:45 pm

  4. Ilene Lazerus

    Great story! LaBefana cleans, and bakes and then goes out to work. She is like a lot of busy women I know! Merry Chiristmas and Happy New Year 2009. Wonderful job!

    December 18, 2008 at 1:01 pm

  5. Ms. Currelley

    Excellente, bravo! Great job keep up the good work. I also love they way our rehearsals are going. You sound as good as the Vienna Boys Choir when you sing Adeste Fidelis.

    December 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm

  6. Delicia McEvilly

    Bravo, ragazzi!(boys & girls)
    What good information you shared with all of us. I am learning so much from all the classes. You gave us such good information. Thank you for your hard work. I am looking forward to seeing your presentation on Tuesday.
    Ciao, Mrs. McEvilly

    December 18, 2008 at 2:57 pm

  7. 373rsunnyside

    We also read about Strega Nona’s Christmas with Miss Jacci in our Computer Lab. We liked learning about La Befana too! Thank you for sharing some Italian Christmas Traditions with us.

    The students at Sunnyside

    December 21, 2008 at 11:58 pm

  8. Theresa


    I found your blog while searching the web for information related to my blog.

    I think your site content is very good and I think we would both benefit from a link exchange. This would bring more targeted traffic to our sites, plus increase our websites’ weight at the search engines, as they give greater value to the links from the topic-related sites rather than irrelevant backlinks.

    My blog at is definitely related to yours.

    I would be glad to link to your site in return to you linking back to mine.

    Please email me at to discuss further details on this.

    Thank You

    Theresa Fox

    December 22, 2008 at 4:17 pm

  9. notitiae

    Good Idea fot the Befana… Greetings!!!
    NotitiAE for Befana at this link:

    January 6, 2011 at 7:56 am

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