Epiphany is celebrated by both the Eastern and WesternChurches, but a major difference between them is precisely which events the feast commemorates. For Western Christians, the feast primarily commemorates the coming of the Magi; Eastern churchescelebrate the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan. In both traditions, the essence of the feast is the same: the manifestation of Christ to the world (whether as an infant or in the Jordan), and the Mystery ofthe Incarnation.
Many Christians around the world annually celebrate Epiphany on January 6. It is a public holiday in many countries and marks two events in Jesus Christ’s life, according to theChristian Bible. The first event was when the three wise men, or kings, visited infant Jesus. The second event was when St John the Baptist baptized Jesus.
What do people do?
January 6, which is 12days after Christmas in the Gregorian calendar, marks not only the end of the Christmas holidays but also the start of the Carnival season, which climaxes with Mardi Gras. In some European countries,such as the Czech Republic and Slovakia, children dress as the three kings and visit houses. In their roles as the kings, or wise men, they sing about the Jesus’ birth and pay homage to the “king ofkings”. They are rewarded with praise and cookies.
Dia de los Reyes Magos is the Latin American celebration of Epiphany.
Children in Spain fill their shoes with straw or grain for the three kings’horses to eat and place them on balconies or by the front door on Epiphany Eve. The next day they find cookies, sweets or gifts in their place. The “three kings” make an entry in many cities in Spain onEpiphany Eve, accompanied by military bands and drummers in medieval dress.
Epiphany is a public holiday in countries such as Austria, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Ethiopia (but on...