Pehtra Wife

Pehtra wife In the western part of the Julian Alps, in the upper Sava Valley, but also in the nearby valleys of Zila (Gailtal) and Roz (Rosental) in Carinthia, there is still preserved the visiting of the so-called Pehtra wife (Pehtra baba, in Slovenian) in the evening of the 6th January. She appears variously in two variations: in one she is white and "beautiful", in the other she is dark and "ugly". She visits homes where there are children, rewarding the industrious ones, admonishing those who were naughty. This mythological figure is believed to be of pre-historic origin. She is to be found also in German speaking areas, like in the Austrian province of Salzburg (Pongau, Gastein), and in Bohemia. In Italy Pehtra changed her name, she became Befana who brings gifts to children in the evening of Epiphany. http://www.carantha.net/national_and_cultural_treasures_of_slovenia_part_i.htm