Ghosts of Christmas: La Befana – The Italian Christmas Witch (Folklore Series)
La Befana is an old woman who brings gifts to the Italian children on Epiphany Eve which is the night of January 5th. She fills the socks of the good children with candy and presents and those of the bad ones with coal, sticks or dark candy.
There are different tales about her origin, I particularly like this one: Befana was a mother to a child she loved with all her heart. When the child died a sudden death, her grief maddened her so that on the day Jesus was born she set out to see him, because she mistook him for her own son. She gifted him with lots of presents and he was so delighted that he gave her one special gift in return: La Befana would be the mother of every child in Italy.
This illustration was made for the Ghosts of Christmas Art Challenge.