What is Epiphany?
The 6th January is Epiphany and marks the twelfth day since Christmas. It is the official end to the festive season for many Christians around the world.
The Twelfth Night is significant as a celebration of the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptism. It also marks a visit to the baby Jesus by three Kings, or Wise Men. That is why Epiphany is also known as Little Christmas or Three Kings’ Day.
Where does the word Epiphany come from?
The word ‘Epiphany’ has Greek roots and means ‘to show’. This refers to Jesus being revealed to the world. It is also why when you have an ‘epiphany moment’ it means that something is revealed to you.
How do people celebrate Epiphany?
Here are some interesting facts about the Feast of Epiphany from around the world:
In some European countries, children leave their shoes out the night before to be filled with gifts. Others leave straw for the three Kings’ horses.
According to Greek Orthodox Church’s traditions, a priest will bless the waters by throwing a cross into it. Worshippers dive in to try to retrieve it.
In Venice a traditional regatta, that started as a joke in the late 70s, forms part of the celebrations of Epiphany Day.
According to some, misfortune apparently befalls anyone who keeps Christmas decorations up a minute after Twelfth Night. Have you taken your decorations down?