Before Coca Cola made Father Christmas famous in his red outfit, in Italy the celebration of the folkloric tale of “la Befana” had been documented since 1549.  This is a tale of an old lady who hosted the three wise men (magi) on their journey to finding baby Jesus.  Grateful for her kindness they asked her to accompany them, but she declined, then upon realising the error of her decision, she tried to catch up by following the star but she never finds them or baby Jesus.

Legend foretells that on the 05 Jan on the eve of the Epiphany, she travels on her broom delivering gifts to good children and pieces of coal to naughty ones.