Italy’s Le Befana

Le Befana, the Christmas witch

Le Befana


Santa Claus Worldwide distills the cheerful essence of Christmas from many sources and studies, old and new. In addition to his wide reading, author Tom A. Jerman has brought a wealth of personal experience

Great Read!

Santa Claus Worldwide describes gift givers throughout the world in history from the pagan god Odin to the present day Father Christmas, Weihnachten, Père Noël, Ded Moroz, and Santa Claus. Mr. Jerman’s thorough research of this subject, takes the reader on a journey...


Until now I’ve been especially interested in Clement C. Moore and his transcendent poem The Night Before Christmas. Tom Jerman puts Moore’s classic in perspective with a broad and highly informative look at the international history of Santa Claus. For my own...

This book is REALLY impressive

I’m not a historian (I work with a lot of historians, but I’m not one!) but this book REALLY impressive piece of work! Extensively referenced and Tom Jerman does a great, scholarly job of telling the “stories” that should be told with the support of a lot of...

Italy’s Le Befana, the Christmas witch, is shown here in two separate paintings. Befana was probably inspired by the German goddess Berchta, who, like Befana, flew down chimneys to deliver gifts to deserving children on Epiphany, January 6. Befana’s back story is that she was asked by the Biblical Magi to join them in visiting the newborn Jesus but declined to do so; upon realizing her mistake, she has spent two thousand years delivering gifts to children of the world.