Epiphany spending down amid ongoing recession
30% of Italians to give traditional stocking of sweets03 January, 11:24
Total expenditure on the traditional sweet-filled stocking and other gifts is expected to be 1.45 billion euros, the same source said. This year 30% of Italians will give a stocking full of sweets, 1% up on last year, Confesercenti said. However, 54% will not be making any kind of gift, up 2% on 2013.
The tradition of Epiphany present-giving is inspired by the story of the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem with gifts for the newborn Jesus.
In Italy the festival is also known as La Befana after the legendary old woman who delivers gifts on her broomstick.