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Traditional burning of Befanas in Persiceto countryside

various locations

San Matteo della Decima (BO)

On the evenings of January 5th and 6th, the burning of Befanas at the stake lights up the countryside around San Matteo della Decima (10 kilometres from San Giovanni in Persiceto) at sunset.

Big straw puppets, about 10-meters high, representing the “Vècia” (old woman, or Befana in Bologna dialect) burn in the fields around the town, while the crowd cries out loud “A brùsa la Vècia” (Burn the Befana)!

According to tradition, children dressed up as “fcén” (old men) use to go from house to house to offer gifts and recite “zirudelle” (rhyming poems in Bologna dialect) in exchange for a small culinary prize.

The initiative is made possible thanks to a group of private citizens that host the bonfires on their properties.

The origins of the Befana, a kind old woman who visits all the children throughout Italy the night before the Feast of Epiphany to fill their stockings with candies as well as presents, is closely linked with pagan folk traditions: the “Vècia” represents the “old” year because, once it has come to an end, it will be burnt. But right at the moment when the year ends, it is ready to be born again. That’s why people usually say “Epiphany takes all the holidays away”: after 6 January, farmers used to start sowing again in the hope of a good harvest.

From this point of view, presents used to be of propitiatory value for the year to come.

Date: the event will be held from Jan 05, 2018 to Jan 06, 2018

Event timetable: to be defined

Entrance: free entry

Information and Booking Centre

Ufficio Relazioni con il Pubblico of San Matteo della Decima
Via Cento 158/a - 40017 San Matteo della Decima di San Giovanni in Persiceto (BO) - Phone: ++39 051 6812057
Weekday timetable:

Monday to Saturday 8.30am – 1.30pm

Weekend timetable:


By Pianura Bolognese editorial staff (Dec 05, 2017)

Filed under:

Emilia Romagna Welcome (EN)

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