Epiphany 2016

What does Epiphany Mean

Epiphany means “to make known”, “to reveal” or “to show”. According to the Christian tradition, Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th. It is known by different names in different churches. In Latin and Hispanic cultures and in few other places in Europe, this tradition is known as the ‘’Three Kings’ Day.

About Epiphany

In the past, Epiphany was observed on different dates, because churches used to follow a different calendar. There was also a difference between the western Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant, therefore Epiphany and Christmas were celebrated at different times. Even today, many orthodox go by the western calendar of the church. A few Greek Orthodox Churches still go by the old calendar and celebrate Theophany on January 19th as Epiphany.

Epiphany is the end of Christmas Season which includes the twelve days of Christmas. These twelve days are counted from December 25th evening to January 6th morning. In many cultures, it is a time to celebrate and feast. The feast includes a special cake baked which is known as the King’s Cake as its part of Epiphany.

In few churches, January 5th is counted as the Eleventh Day of Christmas and January 6th is considered as the twelfth Day and evening is the twelfth night. As per the Christian churches Christmas and Easter are a big celebration during the calendar year instead of one day. The beginning of Advent marks the starting of Christmas. It is a time when people prepare themselves to celebrate the home coming of Jesus. In every Christian calendar, December 25th is celebrated as Christmas and this lasts for twelve days till January 6th as Epiphany. Every church looks forward to celebrate this beautiful time and spread the good news. The two Sundays that fall between Christmas Day and Epiphany are known as Christmastide.

Since Epiphany is followed differently in churches, many Protestant churches follow the Epiphany season and extend it from January 6th to Ash Wednesday. This marks the season of Lent right up till Easter. It depends on when Easter falls, the much awaited time of Epiphany has four to nine Sundays. According to the Roman Catholic custom, Epiphany is considered as a single day and Sundays is considered as an ordinary time. When it comes to some western traditions, the Transfiguration Sunday which is the last Sunday of Epiphany is celebrated.

Since Epiphany means “to reveal”, in many western churches, it is remembered as the three wise men who bring gifts when they come to visit Jesus as an infant. They therefore “reveal” Jesus as the Lord and King to the world. In South America and in a few parts of Central America, this time is greatly influenced by the Catholic tradition. The “Three Kings” Day is a time to open Christmas gifts. When it comes to a few eastern churches, the Theophany commemorates Jesus’ baptism as Epiphany which is marked by the Magi visit that is connected to Christmas. The Theophany or Epiphany occurs on January 19th.

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Epiphany 2016