The witch, Befana, who visits all the children of Italy on the eve of Epiphany to give them candy if they have been good or a lump of coal if they've been bad. An excellent housekeeper, she sweeps the floor before she departs.
My own interpretation of this familiar image of Italian folklore is that she represents the passing—or sweeping away—of the old in preparation for the new. A metaphor of change, of renewal. Of rebirth, of much better days to come.
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