Epiphany Celebrations 2016

The word Epiphany was taken from the Greek word "epiphaneia" which stands for appearance. It is a Christian feast celebration where they celebrate the incarnation of God in human form. It is the birth of Jesus Christ. It generally falls on the 6th day of January.

There are several thing people do during the feast of epiphany. Here are the preparations you can do for a virtual feast of the epiphany celebration:

You should get the required materials:

  • Decorations
  • Planning book
  • Bible
  • Frankincense and myrrh

How to Start Preparation

Start the preparation by penning down all you are planning to do for the celebration of the epiphany. It can be a party, a church service gift-offering, or any family celebrations.

The best thing to do is to assemble your children and the rest of the family and tell them the story of the epiphany. This is a general tradition that families do every year. People don't generally require a party for this as it is already after the Christmas celebration.

Read Story of Epiphany

When you read out the story of the epiphany to your kids, it will remind them the true value of the occasion. It will make them understand how Jesus was born and what happened after that. The feast of the epiphany is a great day for the kids to listen carefully as there are no longer disruptions for them. Basically, everyone is so occupied during Christmas that they actually forget about the real essence of the celebration. It just happens to be a type of regular holiday for us when we assemble and give gifts and actually forget about the birth of Jesus.

History of Epiphany

The celebration was initiated in 361 AD in commemoration of the birth of Christ. At some point afterwards, the day also stood for rejoicing the visit of the three Wise Men (Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar), Christ's baptism and his debut thaumaturgy at the wedding in Cana where wine was changed into water by the Christ.

One fact that is unknown by many people is that the Epiphany symbolizes the end of the true Twelve Days of Christmas which are not the days preceding Christmas, rather the twelve days from Christmas to the Epiphany.

Celebration in Latin Countries

In a few Latin countries, the Epiphany commemoration had been celebrated by declaring Christmas Day a strictly religious event and the Epiphany (or "Three Kings Day") is the day in which gifts are exchanged. But of late, it has been changed and currently gifts can be exchanged on Christmas and Three Kings day or on both the occasions. A tradition that is still observed today in Mexico is the tradition of making sweet breads which are prepared on the Epiphany in the shape of a King's crown.

Another interesting Epiphany observance is in Amman is a parade conducted with thousand of Christians alongside the River Jordan. Once the parade is over, a customary takes place with the blessing of the water whereby a wooden cross is dipped into the water thrice, representing the baptism of Christ. In the city the priests carry olive branches and sprinkle holy water all over the crowd.

Greek Tradition

In the Greek Orthodox tradition, they consider the Epiphany as a commemoration of Jesus' dedication to his divinity. In Greece, the Greek festival which is also termed as "The Blessing of the Waters" is still conducted each year. During the observance young people take a dive into the water to fetch a cross that was drawn by a priest after being blessed. The first man to search out the cross is believed to have good luck for a year. Lot of various food, drink and enjoyment follows this symbolic tradition.

Story of Baboushka

There are many more traditions and/or customs that people still observe during this holy day, such as reading the story of Baboushka, which is a story from Russia of an aged woman who met the Three Kings but at first refused to help them in their search for the baby Jesus. She later repented on her decision, packed up toys and trinkets for the baby and set out to search out the new king. She could never find him and it is believed that today also she still searches him with her bag of gifts. The tale of Baboushka is sometimes played out with three men/boys playing the roles of the Wise Men. In some occasions, the wise men are chosen by baking a three kings' cake and putting three Lima beans in the cake (or three separate cakes each having one Lima bean) and serving it during a meal before the Epiphany; whomever finds the Lima bean in their meal will perform the act of one of the Kings.

Conclusion

The Epiphany has a long and amazing history across the world and while not so immensely recognized celebration here in the U.S., like Christmas or New Years, it definitely is one infused in tradition and deeply-appreciated reverence.

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Epiphany Celebrations 2016