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Caesar
12-11-2010, 12:18 PM
Here's a sketch of the good witch we call Befana, who once, according to our traditions took gifts to kids on the 6th of January (or ash and coal if they didn't behave well). Santa Claus, Babbo Natale for us in most of Italy, is a far more recent character, like the tree, and at Christmas too gifts came from Baby Jesus some decades ago.
It's a quick and unfinished sketch I hope You like ...

Here You can see some images of the Befana in Piazza Navona, Roma.
http://www.google.it/images?um=1&hl=it&biw=1280&bih=581&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=befana+piazza+navona&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

Kids used to go there on the 6th of January.

semd74
12-11-2010, 12:54 PM
A good witch who delivers gifts...never heard that before...thanks for sharing

barnburner
12-11-2010, 01:34 PM
Thanks for the background info. Very interesting..
Cool witch... :)

jibes
12-11-2010, 05:49 PM
Excellent Drawing!!!!

justjean
12-11-2010, 05:56 PM
Wonderful sketching Caesar and thank you for the interesting reading

waheednasir
12-11-2010, 06:58 PM
lot of character..nice job my mate..:).

Caesar
12-12-2010, 02:00 AM
You know, dear Semd, my country is so ancient and has so many regional cultures too, that they can hardly be known anywhere. For instance, Santa Claus itself was derived from the one of the greatest Saints, venerated by both Catholics and Orthodoxes and the rest of Europe before Luther, who was told to make many miracles and whose body was taken in Bari (southern Italy, Apulia) from Eastern Europe and away from infidels who conquered Myra (as the muslims were considered, just as they did on their turn and fundamentalist still do). He rests there in a cathedral where both catholic and Russian orthodoxes priests take care of: San Nicola, Santa Nicola in our southern dialects, Santa Niklaus in northern Europe. He was thought to give gifts to children, probably because he liked them and resurrected one of them, if I remind well.

You're welcome, dear Barnburner! Here above something also concerning Santa ...:D

Thank You dear Jibes, Jean and Waheed. It was just a quick sketch, but an inspired one. Also a sign of admiration for Nickillus fantastic characters.

coops
12-12-2010, 03:46 AM
What a great drawing Cesare and what a great face she has. She has a great twinkle in her eye,:) infact the whole thing is just GREAT

Alexandra
12-12-2010, 05:30 AM
Oh Cesare, I love this! Such a charming sketch. :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):) :):):):)

ScottF
12-12-2010, 05:35 AM
Great sketch, Caesar! She seems to be a more colorful version of La Noche de los Reyes (the night of the kings), where the three kings bring gifts on 6 January.

Lee
12-12-2010, 10:33 AM
Dear Caesar, Thank You for the story and dear drawing,, usually think of witches as being scary, but read her story and it is not scary but of missed chances, so sad, too busy,,, but she makes up for it, and from the photos of the smiles on the childrens faces she is remembered with fondness,,,:)

Caesar
12-13-2010, 12:26 AM
Thank You, very much, dear Katie! Probably drawing funny characters is my natural specialty ...:D

Maybe it would have been better in a colourful form and a more complete socks of gifts and fireplace behind, dear Sandra ... Thank You!

We have the three Magi kings two, dear Scott, in the ancient tradition and, for sure, in the manger scene (I'll show soon) we prepare and where, on the 6th of January, their little statues finally make the last step to adore the child who is the King of kings. Thank You!

Glad You appreciated, dear Lee. Thank You very much!

javier
12-13-2010, 01:09 AM
A great sketch and a witch really good, here in Spain at this time we do not have witches, what we are three kings named Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar, who brought gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby born in Bethlehem, which if we share is the fact gifts and coal, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year dear friend.

Caesar
12-13-2010, 06:34 AM
Thank You, dear Javier!
The Befana is relatively youngertradition in that sense (just little more than a couple of centuries perhaps) and much Roman too. We had the wise men too as an alternative, but that's again for Epiphany (the 6th of January, which is also Christmas for Orthodoxes).
That date was the one when kids used to get more gifts accordingly, also if in the old times, my parents and grandparents used to get just fruits, candies and some sort of quite humble toy ...
At Christmas some little gift, if and when it arrived, was rather thought to come from baby Jesus and Santa was hardly known in most of Italy (even up to when I was a kid), notwithstanding the fact that Santa Claus is actually San Nicholas, buried here in Bari. It was indeed a Northern Europe tradition, just as the Christmas Tree, an ancient celtic one we didn't follow; our culture was for the manger scene since St. Francis of Assisi. We had Celts in northern Italy in ancient times and Barbarians, even Normans, but only in limited parts of Italy.