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The Epiphany

Happy Epiphany!

Do people say “Happy Epiphany!” Dear Reader? I've never heard anyone say that.

Epiphany is the day that some Christians celebrate the Magi visiting the infant Jesus and bringing him special gifts. It's more important in some families than in others.

Joe remembers his family leaving the Christmas decorations up until after Epiphany. He remembers the holiday being mentioned at Sunday mass, though it wasn't a Holy Day of Obligation. My mom calls Epiphany the Orthodox Christmas, and she always left our Christmas decorations up until then. Some people actually celebrate Christmas that day, especially Greeks and other eastern Europeans.

My dear friend, Julia, celebrates the Feast of the Three Kings on Epiphany, and it is one of her family's most special traditions. The children always set their shoes outside before bed time, and when they wake in the morning, the shoes are filled with treats and gifts. For Julia's Catholic family, Epiphany is a Holy Day of Obligation.

Epiphany is the end of the twelve days of Christmas, for what it's worth, and it's Little Christmas in Ireland. Other cultures around the world have special customs for Epiphany, ranging from a special food or meal to giving and receiving gifts to a costumed parade (something like Trick or Treating in the US).

I would like to commemorate Epiphany (obviously starting next year, since things got a little hectic this year), and I would like to hear your suggestions, Dear Reader. Do you celebrate the day? What do you do?

Happily to submitted to Works for Me Wednesday because I'm hoping you'll tell me what works for you

© 2009 – 2018, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.

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23 thoughts on “The Epiphany”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. I am not Catholic, and therefore, these Holy Days are not familiar to me. I was raised in a Baptist church. It was Christmas. That is it. So, I really enjoy learning about the other days that are important, in other churches. What a wonderful thing.

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post. I am not Catholic, and therefore, these Holy Days are not familiar to me. I was raised in a Baptist church. It was Christmas. That is it. So, I really enjoy learning about the other days that are important, in other churches. What a wonderful thing.

  3. My friends and I just started an Epiphany tradition this year. Since we like to refashion thrift-store finds or make each other’s presents, we get together to exchange our presents then. We also bring any Christmas-related items that we are tired of (or were unwanted to being with) and we trade items. We then pack up the items with the rest of our Christmas decor to be pleasantly surprised the following year. The only thing better than after-Christmas clearance sales is free!

  4. My friends and I just started an Epiphany tradition this year. Since we like to refashion thrift-store finds or make each other’s presents, we get together to exchange our presents then. We also bring any Christmas-related items that we are tired of (or were unwanted to being with) and we trade items. We then pack up the items with the rest of our Christmas decor to be pleasantly surprised the following year. The only thing better than after-Christmas clearance sales is free!

  5. We celebrated Epiphany when we spent Christmas with my father and his side of the family (my parents were divorced) I don’t recall any special food, but we did have a family dinner on a slightly smaller scale than Christmas. We left our shoes out and got stocking like treats in them (1 small present and candy). They left Christmas decorations up until after this day and we really enjoyed christmas with them because it wasn’t something our other friends did.

    I don’t really celebrate the Epiphany now as I should and I should probably remedy that by doing something! It doesn’t have to be huge, just delay taking down Christmas stuff and the shoe thing and sharing the Traditions with my children.

  6. We celebrated Epiphany when we spent Christmas with my father and his side of the family (my parents were divorced) I don’t recall any special food, but we did have a family dinner on a slightly smaller scale than Christmas. We left our shoes out and got stocking like treats in them (1 small present and candy). They left Christmas decorations up until after this day and we really enjoyed christmas with them because it wasn’t something our other friends did.I don’t really celebrate the Epiphany now as I should and I should probably remedy that by doing something! It doesn’t have to be huge, just delay taking down Christmas stuff and the shoe thing and sharing the Traditions with my children.

  7. this was so on my mind too. As a child, I attended a catholic school, so we always celebrated the epiphany with prayer and song. Since then, as an adult Christian, I sadly did not keep up with any traditions. I am anxious to hear your readers suggestions as we may adopt them as well.

  8. this was so on my mind too. As a child, I attended a catholic school, so we always celebrated the epiphany with prayer and song. Since then, as an adult Christian, I sadly did not keep up with any traditions. I am anxious to hear your readers suggestions as we may adopt them as well.

  9. I’m Lutheran and grew up celebrating Epiphany with church service and by leaving our Christmas decorations up. Now with my own family, we have added a variation of the Three Kings celebration (maybe Spanish?) by having our children each decorating a manager (shoe box) and filling it with hay (paper straw) to be placed under their beds at night. In the morning, the “camels” will have left another piece for their Fontanini nativity set. Our children have never believed in Santa and don’t believe in “the camels” but love the tradition. We have precious photographs of them in pjs with their decorated boxes.

  10. I’m Lutheran and grew up celebrating Epiphany with church service and by leaving our Christmas decorations up. Now with my own family, we have added a variation of the Three Kings celebration (maybe Spanish?) by having our children each decorating a manager (shoe box) and filling it with hay (paper straw) to be placed under their beds at night. In the morning, the “camels” will have left another piece for their Fontanini nativity set. Our children have never believed in Santa and don’t believe in “the camels” but love the tradition. We have precious photographs of them in pjs with their decorated boxes.

  11. I live close to Tarpon Springs, Florida, which is a Greek community. They hold the Epiphany celebration where the Bishop throws the cross into the water for the teenage boys to find. One of these days I’m going to visit in person.

  12. I live close to Tarpon Springs, Florida, which is a Greek community. They hold the Epiphany celebration where the Bishop throws the cross into the water for the teenage boys to find. One of these days I’m going to visit in person.

  13. In Mexico my family celebrates “El Dia de Reyes”, which translates to “Three Kings Day”.

    The Kings always leave gifts for kids on that day, usually in their shoes. Kids often leave water and hay for the Kings’ camels (much like we do cookies and milk for Santa).

    In the days before Dia de Reyes, children write letters to the Kings, asking for the presents they’d like, and then attach them to balloons and release them into the sky.

    A special cake is made, called a Rosca. It’s wreath-shaped, and baked inside is a small plastic figure of a baby (represents baby Jesus). Whoever gets the slice of cake with the baby Jesus in it is supposed to have good luck for the rest of the year, and depending on the family’s tradition, sometimes that person is supposed to host a party. It tends to vary greatly from family to family.

  14. In Mexico my family celebrates “El Dia de Reyes”, which translates to “Three Kings Day”.The Kings always leave gifts for kids on that day, usually in their shoes. Kids often leave water and hay for the Kings’ camels (much like we do cookies and milk for Santa).In the days before Dia de Reyes, children write letters to the Kings, asking for the presents they’d like, and then attach them to balloons and release them into the sky.A special cake is made, called a Rosca. It’s wreath-shaped, and baked inside is a small plastic figure of a baby (represents baby Jesus). Whoever gets the slice of cake with the baby Jesus in it is supposed to have good luck for the rest of the year, and depending on the family’s tradition, sometimes that person is supposed to host a party. It tends to vary greatly from family to family.

  15. I saw “Epiphany for the first time on my 2009 calendar and had no idea what it was. I have grown up in a Christian upbringing and so it was never something we celebrated. However, I think that it is definitely something that can be incorporated into our Christmas celebration. I usually take down the decorations on New Years Day…but will try to wait for Epiphany next year!

  16. I saw “Epiphany for the first time on my 2009 calendar and had no idea what it was. I have grown up in a Christian upbringing and so it was never something we celebrated. However, I think that it is definitely something that can be incorporated into our Christmas celebration. I usually take down the decorations on New Years Day…but will try to wait for Epiphany next year!

  17. When I was growing up, we observed Epiphany with one small gift and a family dinner. Nothing extravagant. I know my mom has several tradition Epiphany dishes. I’ll have to ask her what they are!

  18. When I was growing up, we observed Epiphany with one small gift and a family dinner. Nothing extravagant. I know my mom has several tradition Epiphany dishes. I’ll have to ask her what they are!

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