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Epiphany in Italy

Epiphany is celebrated in Italy on January 6 every year. This holiday is based on the story of the three wise men (or kings) offering Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Image of the Nativity scene, 3 wise men adoring baby Jesus.
Epiphany: a holiday that commemorates the three wise men's visit to Jesus.
Epiphany: a holiday that commemorates the three wise men's visit to Jesus.

What do people do?

The Epiphany feast, known as La Befana, is an important part of the Christmas festivities in Italy. La Befana originates from a fairytale about a woman who flies on a broomstick bringing presents to children in Italy. La Befana is believed to be searching for baby Jesus, hence why she bears gifts for children. Many cities and towns in Italy organize festivities and parades to celebrate Epiphany on January 6.

Public life

Epiphany is a public holiday in Italy. Organizations and businesses that are closed on January 6 include:

  • Government offices.
  • Post offices.
  • Banks.
  • Schools and other educational institutions.

Transport options, such as taxis, rail services between major cities and major long-route bus lines, are available on Epiphany but travelers are advised to check first with local transport authorities.


Epiphany commemorates the first two occasions on which Jesus’ divinity, according to Christian belief, was manifested: when the three kings (also known as wise men or Magi) visited infant Jesus in Bethlehem, and when John the Baptist baptized him in the River Jordan.


In Italy, La Befana is loved as much as Santa Claus. She is usually portrayed as an old woman who wears a black shawl and rides a broomstick. Figures of this character are sold in shops in Italy around January 6.

About Epiphany in other countries

Read more about Epiphany.

Epiphany Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday type
WedJan 62010EpiphanyNational holiday
ThuJan 62011EpiphanyNational holiday
FriJan 62012EpiphanyNational holiday
SunJan 62013EpiphanyNational holiday
MonJan 62014EpiphanyNational holiday
TueJan 62015EpiphanyNational holiday
WedJan 62016EpiphanyNational holiday
FriJan 62017EpiphanyNational holiday
SatJan 62018EpiphanyNational holiday
SunJan 62019EpiphanyNational holiday
MonJan 62020EpiphanyNational holiday

Quick Facts

Epiphany is a national holiday in Italy celebrated annually on January 6.

Epiphany 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Epiphany 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Name in other languages

Heilige Drei KönigeGerman

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in January 2016 in Italy

Fun Holiday on January 6, 2016

Other Calendars

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