• Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Befana be-fä′na an Epiphany present or gift—a corruption of Epiphania, which name in Italy has become personified for children as a toy-bringing witch or fairy called La Befana.
    • ***


In literature:

Then there is that reception at the old Principessa Befana's to-night, and the Duchessa della Seecatura is also at home.
"Don Orsino" by F. Marion Crawford
But it should enter like the sun into creation, not like the Befana from the chimney-top.
"Spontaneous Activity in Education" by Maria Montessori
At the Befana everyone in Firenze goes mad with good intentions.
"The Stretton Street Affair" by William Le Queux
At dark, on the Eve of the Epiphany, the Befana begins.
"Ave Roma Immortalis, Vol. 1" by Francis Marion Crawford
Befana is the Italian Lady Santa Claus.
"Rafael in Italy" by Etta Blaisdell McDonald
They went back another way, and Befana is alleged to have been punished by being obliged to look for them for ever.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 3, Slice 5" by Various