Festa della Befana: perché riempiamo la calza di dolci e caramelle?

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La Befana sta per arrivare! Ma da dove viene l’usanza di riempire la calza di dolciumi e caramelle? Ecco la sua storia.

I bambini aspettano questa festa con ansia, gli adulti un po’ meno, perché significa anche che le feste natalizie sono finite: l’epifania, ossia la notte tra il 5 e il 6 gennaio, in cui la Befana porta il carbone ai bambini cattivi e dolci e caramelle a quelli buoni, ha una storia inaspettata, molto più antica di quanto si possa immaginare. Ecco la storia e l’origine dell’usanza di riempire le calze di caramelle, cioccolato e dolci.

Perché riempiamo la calza della Befana?

La Befana nell’immaginario collettivo ha assunto le sembianze di una vecchia signora che viaggia a cavallo della sua scopa con un grande sacco, una sorta di strega buona alleata di Babbo Natale per punire i bambini che si sono comportati male e premiare quelli che si sono comportati bene durante l’anno. Le sue origini, tuttavia, potrebbero essere molto antiche: pare infatti che l’imperatore Numa Pompilio fosse solito appendere una calza in una grotta per ricevere regali da una Ninfa, nel periodo del solstizio d’inverno.

Leggi anche–>Difficoltà a trovare il carbone nei supermercati? Noi abbiamo la soluzione

Ma il senso di portare doni ai bambini dopo Natale è legato alla leggenda dei Re Magi che nel mese di gennaio, portando i doni al bambin Gesù e non riuscendo a trovare la grotta, abbiano chiesto informazioni ad una vecchia signora che rispose loro in modo sgarbato. In seguito, sentendosi in colpa, la vecchietta avrebbe iniziato a portare regali a tutti i bambini nella speranza che uno di questi fosse il bambino che cercavano i tre Magi. Le calze, inoltre, sono indumenti indispensabili per il freddo di gennaio, quindi da lì potrebbe derivare l’uso di questo contenitore per i dolci, piuttosto che un altro.

Leggi anche–>Tanti i piatti gustosi sulla tavola di È sempre mezzogiorno

Nella cultura contadina, inoltre, celebrare l’inizio dell’anno con dei doni per i bambini era un modo per accogliere il nuovo anno con intento propiziatorio, un qualcosa che esiste in quasi tutte le culture del mondo.

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