The Italian legend of the Bella Befana is a treasured tale which is celebrated every year.
As the story goes, Befana was an old woman who happen to have special travelers pass through her town one cold, winter evening. The travelers were carrying gifts in search of the baby they believed was born to save the world. They asked Befana to join them, but she was too busy sweeping and baking and sent them on their way.
Later, she had a change of heart and decided that she too, would bring a gift to the the child. She set about getting her gifts together, but by the time she left her home the travelers were far ahead of her.
Then, as legend goes, a miracle happened. Befana ran so quickly to catch up with the travelers that her feet soon left the ground and she began to fly! Unfortunately, Befana was never able to find the travelers or the special child, yet she continues to search for the child till this day.
On the 6th of January every year, the Bella Befana visits children in Italy while they sleep and leaves them sweets and baked goods. She has also been known to sweep their room clean with her broom!
It is the Befana’s spirit of hope, generosity and caring that makes her the “Bella”, and it is this idea that has lead the Bazaar to be named after her!