In today’s article called “The Befana’s Nursery Rhyme”, I want to share with you a poem written by the famous Gianni Rodari, a poet, journalist, and pedagogy expert.
It is a nursery rhyme that talks about the legendary Befana and that I would like you to know! :)

In Italy January 6th is the day that concludes all the festivities of the Christmas period. In fact, the Christmas trees are dismantled, and the house is stripped of the decorations that adorned it in previous weeks.

But what is so special about this day other than the return to normalcy? Actually, this is another holiday, another “red day” (public holiday), and this means that Italians do not work, and the feast that is celebrated on this day is called the Epiphany. In fact, from a religious point of view, it commemorates the arrival of the Three Wise Men in the presence of Jesus. On the other hand, from a purely secular perspective, this is the day of the Befana, the nice old woman who brings sweets to good children and coal to the bad ones. 

I’ve already talked about January 6th as well as about this phantom-like figure and the legends about her, so if you don’t know about them and I’ve somehow intrigued you, then run and take a look!

Today, however, I would like to focus on poems about this character, many of which were written by the journalist, educator and poet Gianni Rodari.

I have already talked about this writer specifically for what would have been the centenary of his birth and this great writer has gone down in history especially for his children’s stories and nursery rhymes. 

Here’s one written by him which is about the Befana:

Alla Befana – Gianni Rodari

Mi hanno detto, cara Befana,

che tu riempi la calza di lana,

che tutti i bimbi, se stanno buoni,

da te ricevono ricchi doni.

Io buono sono sempre stato

ma un dono mai me l’hai portato.

Anche quest’anno nel calendario

tu passi proprio in perfetto orario,

ma ho paura, poveretto,

che tu viaggi in treno diretto:

un treno che salta tante stazioni

dove ci sono bimbi buoni.

Io questa lettera ti ho mandato

per farti prendere l’accelerato!

O cara Befana, prendi un trenino

che fermi a casa d’ogni bambino,

che fermi alle case dei poveretti

con tanti doni e tanti confetti.

ila firma

Did you like this article called “The Befana’s Nursery Rhyme”? If so, leave your comment and share it! :)

Let’s keep in touch:

Listen to this episode in Italian! You can find the script here!