From the folds of history surprises often emerge. The last is that we owe a former director of La Stampa the celebration of the Epiphany as a national holiday.
Exactly ninety years ago on this date, on January 6, 1927, in Buenos Aires, the Association of fascist workers abroad organized a collection for poor children. A year later, the journalist and fencing champion Augusto Turati, then secretary of the P.N.F (National Fascist Party), was inspired by this initiative and established “the Fascist Befana”. He ordered the provincial federations of the party to solicit from traders, industrialists and farmers donations for a national day dedicated to poor families.
Giorgio Magnarini, a lawyer, was a witness: “In Bologna, the ceremony took place at the House of Fascism. Leaders wore their uniform. Entitled mothers brought their children to collect gift packs, divided between boys and girls, containing dolls, toy cars, comics, toys and sweets.
The day was felt also to be a moment of union of social classes”.
The Fascist Befana has grown over the years and has survived the end of the regime.