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Here we are again, the first week of a brand new year. It’s so hard to believe Christmas and New Year’s are already behind us. After much planning and preparation, the holiday season is almost over. Yes, you read that line correctly as we have one more holiday to get through before we say goodbye to the season.
Epiphany, or the Feast of the Three Kings, is observed 12 days after Christmas. The celebration is for Christians to remember the three wise men who visited Jesus, and for churches to remember when Jesus was baptized.
Epiphany means ‘revelation’ – appropriate since both of these occasions reveal that Jesus was an important figure in history. The holiday is primarily observed by Catholics and Orthodox Christians, but is celebrated all around the world:
- In Spain, the Festival of the Three Kings is when children receive presents from their parents.
- In France, observers might eat a flat, almond cake called “Galette des Rois.” Each cake is baked with a toy crown inside and a gold paper crown placed in the center.
- Mexico has a celebration similar to that of France, but their cake is called “Rosca de Reyes.” In this special cake, a small figure of baby Jesus is hidden; whoever finds the figure in their cake is the ‘Godparent’ of Jesus for that year.
- In Austria, some people create a special chalk sign as a reminder of the wise men. The inscription of the sign is made by splitting the year into two and writing the initials of the wise men (Casper, Melchior and Balthazar.) This year’s sign would read 20*C*M*B*18. This tradition is believed to protect the household for the next year.
- In Belgium, children take part in activity similar to that of US trick-or-treating. Kids sometimes dress up as wise men and go door-to-door singing songs. In exchange for music, residents give the children money or candy.
- In Ireland, Epiphany can be known as “Nollaig na mBean” or Women’s Christmas. On this day, women would take the day off, and men would tend to the housework and cooking. (We like the sound of this one!)
For many of us who don’t celebrate the holiday, Epiphany is seen as the perfect day to take down decorations and settle back into the usual routine.
From all of us at Lions Pride, we hope you had an enjoyable, restful holiday season.