Roghi delle Befane


Traditional burning of Befanas in Persiceto countryside

Preparation of a straw puppet - Floriano Govoni
Preparation of a straw puppet - Floriano Govoni

Where: San Matteo della Decima - 40017 San Giovanni in Persiceto (BO)

When: January 5 and 6, 2019



The burning of Befanas at the stake lights up the countryside around San Matteo della Decima (10 kilometres from San Giovanni in Persiceto) at sunset. 

About 10-meter high straw puppets representing the “Vècia” (Befana in Bologna dialect) burn around the town in front of a crowd crying “A brùsa la Vècia” (Burn the Befana)! 

According to tradition, children dressed-up as “fcén” (old men) use to go from house to house to offer gifts and recite “zirudelle” (rhyming poems in Bologna dialect) in exchange for a small culinary consideration. 


The initiative is made possible thanks to a group of private citizens that hosts the fires in their properties.

The origins of Befana, a kindly old woman who visits all the children throughout Italy the night before the Feast of Epiphany to fill their stockings with candies as well as presents, is closely linked with pagan folk traditions: The “Vècia” represents the “old” year because, once it has come to an end, it will be burnt. But right at the moment when the year ends, it is ready to be born again. That’s why people usually say “Epiphany takes all the feasts away”: after 6 January, farmers used to start sowing again in the hope of a good harvest. 

From this point of view, presents used to be of propitiatory value for the year to come.




Friday January 5

5.45PM, piazza delle poste 9, “I befanieri bucanieri”

6PM, via Samoggia vecchia 1, “La befana dei bambini”

7PM, via Pironi 4, “Serrazanetti Simone e Nicolò”

7PM, via Arginino 10, “La befana dello sport”

7,30PM, via San Cristoforo 180, “Famiglia Lanzi”.


Saturday January 6


6PM, via Calcina nuova, “La befana dei ciocapiât”

7PM, via Bevilacqua (famiglia Malaguti Pietro), “I piven ft. Dag dal gas”.

Info sull'evento

Timetable: see programme
Entrance: free entrance
Organization: Comune di San Giovanni in Persiceto                                                                                                                                                                                          
Info: Comune di San Giovanni in Persiceto               
Tel. 0039 051 6812057

Info on the tourist location

URP - Public Relations Office

San Giovanni in Persiceto

Address: Corso Italia 78 - 40017 San Giovanni in Persiceto (BO)

Toll free number 800 069678


Opening times
Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri and Sat 8.30am-1.30pm

Thu 8.30am-6.30pm

Opening times (July and August)
Mon – Sat 8.30am-1pm

Loc. San Matteo della Decima c/o Centro civico
Via Cento 158/a - 40017 San Giovanni in Persiceto
Phone: +39  051 6812057


Opening times

Mon – Sat 8.30am-1.30pm



Last update: 26-11-2018