“Tell me about Epiphany,” I asked my friends.
I didn’t grow up in a church tradition that celebrated Epiphany, so my knowledge about the day and its traditions is very limited. A quick search on the Internet told me that, in the Western church, Epiphany marks the visitation of the Magi to the baby Jesus. Eastern Christian traditions, remember Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist during Epiphany.
Whether you’re remembering the Magi or the moment God’s Spirit descended on Jesus in the form of a dove, there are many ways to celebrate. Here are just a few responses I received:
I grew up in a Latino community, so Tres Reyes is a big deal. We actually celebrate our family Christmas over Three Kings! You make a dessert called rosca de Reyes — it’s a sweet bread and if you find a baby Jesus figurine in your piece you make food (often tamales) for your family. —Ruthie
We keep all the Christmas decorations up for the full 12 days from Christmas to Epiphany, light our Advent wreath including the center Christmas candle and do Evening Prayer, keep one gift back to open until Epiphany, and I only listen to Christmas music from December 24 to January 6. —Jennifer
In our home, it means that the wise men who have been “traveling” all over the house during Advent (we hid them each night for the boys to find every morning) finally make it to the manger scene. —Michelle
Epiphany or Three Kings Day; celebrating the life of the promised one, honored by strangers who knew his importance. I grew up in a culture that celebrates it. Children leave shoeboxes full of grass for the king’s camel’s to eat while they sleep; finding a present in the box in the morning. —Sandy
No matter how we celebrate Epiphany — also known as the twelfth Day of Christmas — on that day (and every day) we are invited to consider the revelation of God in his Son as human in Jesus Christ.