Today, is Epiphany and I am happy to welcome back Robin Rivera for this second Discovering Traditions guest post, as well as her second guest appearance on my blog. You can find her advent calendar contribution here, and read the previous Discovering Traditions post by Dr Gulara Vincent about New Year’s here.
Epiphany Robin Rivera
When I was young, the Epiphany was a joy. It was a last little Christmas to prolong the holiday season, and I loved it. Before bed on the eve of the Epiphany (January 5th) my mother would tell us stories about the three kings. My mother went to a strict Catholic girl’s school, and her stories were vivid and packed with countless details. That night we filled our oldest pair of shoes with straw and set them outside along with a bowl of water. In the morning, the straw and water was gone, gobbled up by the three king’s camels. In thanks for our offerings, the kings always left us gifts. Small gold foil wrapped chocolates, exotic smelling incense sticks and small toys were tucked into our shoes. We often received new shoes too, the old ones disappeared forever. Eaten by these poor half-starved camels, or so my mother said.
On the Epiphany there would be a lovely family meal. It always ended with hot coco and a spicy ring cake made from an old family recipe. The cake wasn’t fancy, and in truth, it was a bit more bread than cake, but it was always delicious. She coved it with creamy icing and sprinkled the top with colored sugar. Tradition says there should be a small plastic doll baked inside the cake, and whoever finds the doll will have good luck all year. But my mother would never allow it. She feared someone would break a tooth, or swallow the doll whole and choke to death.