About Epiphany in Other Countries Read more about Epiphany. The closest modern version of an Italian Santa Claus is Babbo Natale, but there’s a Santa-like figure that goes back even further. Italy is also home to plenty of unique traditions. Also in some countries, he wears green while other countries he wears red. La Befana, the old woman who delivers gifts on Epiphany, January 6 is still the more popular Italian Christmas figure. She was born in 1381 near the city of Cascia and, although she wished to enter a convent, she was married off under obedience to her parent’s wishes at the age of 16. Italian children call Santa Claus ‘Babbo Natale’. It is fascinating to know that the legendary Santa Claus is called by countless names in different countries. One of the reasons for his, or her, popularity is the ability to merge with local gift-giving customs, resulting in a multitude of hybrids with their own unique traits. Consequently, the Kingdom of Italy had several different nobility traditions, one for each pre-unitarian State and one for the unified … Some popular names of Santa Claus according to countries are given below: : In Italy, La Befana is loved as much as Santa Claus. Names of Santa Claus – Did you know that who we call Santa Claus is different in other countries. Since the 700s, an Italian witch named La Befana has flown around the region on a broom giving treats to good children and coal to the bad. Santa Claus is the most universally recognised figure around the world, adopted by differing cultures, many of which never see snow from year to year. Figures of this character are sold in shops in Italy around January 6. Saint Rita of Cascia is often called “the saint of the impossible”. She is usually portrayed as an old woman who wears a black shawl and rides a broomstick. According to the tradition, the European Santa Claus comes from a Finish village, called Korvatunturi in Lapland Province. Also, did you know in some countries he is skinny while other countries he is overweight. The names of Santa varies because of diversity in cultures and traditions across the world. Italy, as a single nation state, began only in 1861, after the Piedmont-based Kingdom of Sardinia conquered most of present-day Italy. Babbo Natale, the Italian Santa Claus But as in true Italian style, gifts are exchanged only on January 6 that is the day of Epiphany. Father Christmas or Santa Claus, dates back in the 16 th century and is associated with several historical figures, depending on the region. In Italian folklore, Befana (pronounced ) is an old woman who delivers gifts to children throughout Italy on Epiphany Eve (the night of January 5) in a similar way to St. Nicholas or Santa Claus. He is becoming more popular in Italy for gift giving on Christmas Day but La Befana, … This note is often kept under the plate of the head of the family (usually father) and read out immediately after the Christmas Eve dinner. Babbo Natale, Italy’s version of Santa Claus, is becoming more popular and gift giving on Christmas day is becoming more common. The other pre-Christmas Day observance of the season, at least in some places, is Santa Lucia, on December 13. According to tradition, Santa Lucia was a martyr who took food to persecuted Christians held in the catacombs. Then ‘ la befana’ , an old lady, comes in search to the houses for search of the Christ Child. At that point, titles were recognized to all who held them according to the law of so-called pre-unitarian States. 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