La Befana is a Christmas witch that comes 12 days after Christmas on January 6. January 6 is Epiphany and is the celebration of the visit by the three wise men to the baby Jesus. La Befana is derived from Epifania, the Italian for Epiphany.
According to the Italian legend, La Befana lived on the road the three wise men took on their journey to Bethlehem to visit the baby Jesus. The three wise men were on camels and loaded down with gifts when they approached La Befanaís house. They stopped to ask directions to Bethlehem and to see if she could provide them with food and shelter for the night and if she wanted to join them on their journey. La Befana was too busy to talk to the wise men and to busy to go because she was cleaning her home.
Later she changed her mind and decided she should have gone with the wise men. So she set off on her own to look for the Christ Child. She never found the Christ Child.
Befana never gave up and to this day as the legend goes she is still looking in every home for the Christ Child. She flies on her broom to each house that is home to a child. La Befana leaves gifts in every house she visits in case one of them happens to be the Christ Child.