Epiphany Story, the Feast of The Three Kings

What is Epiphany?

Epiphany is a holiday where people celebrate the three kings that went and gave Jesus presents.

It’s usually celebrated by Christians 12 days after Christmas or for Orthodox churches, it’s on January 19th.

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Epiphany is also another term for “revelation” and is when Jesus was baptized when he was 30 years old and started to preach to everyone about god.

This was when Jesus was revealed to the world. It is now a tradition for churches worldwide to celebrate Epiphany for Jesus and the three wiser men.

The main religions that celebrate Epiphany are Orthodox Christians and people who are Catholic.

The popularity of Epiphany is so massive that it has spread across the world.

There are festivals in Spain called The Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Mages otherwise known as The Festival of The Three Magic Kings.

Children and kids receive presents and gifts to represent the three kings giving it to them.

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Food on Epiphany

Local bakeries in Spain also get in on the fun and bake special pastries. On the morning of Epiphany, pastry shops sell annual ring-shaped rolls called Roscons.

The Roscons are filled with chocolate or cream and comes with a paper crown on top. When all of the local bakeries get together and do this it gets really fun and there’s even a game that goes along with it.

If you take a bite of the Roscon and find a plastic toy of a king then you get to wear the crown for a day.

If you find a dried bean inside your Roscon then it means you’re supposed to be paying for the cake.

They have a similar tradition in Catalonia but instead of Roscons they have the Gateau de Rois, or the Tortell and it’s filled with marzipan. France also has the same concept as the bakers in Spain.

They have a flat almond cake called Gallette des Rois but instead of a toy king, there’s a toy crown inside and paper crown on top.

The Christians in Mexico have the same special traditional three kings cake called Rosca de Reyes.

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The Epiphany in Mexico is referred to as El Dia de los Reyes, or the day of the three kings in English. Instead of a toy crown or king inside, there’s a little figure of Jesus.

Whoever has that Jesus toy in their cake is known as the godparent of Jesus for the rest of the year. Instead of food, people in Portugal celebrate Janeiras which is what they call carol singing in January.

The religious ones on the island of Maderia also sing but theirs is called Cantar os Reis, or Singing the Kings.

Kids in Italy have something like Christmas where they put stockings next to their fireplace.

Instead of Santa, an old lady named Befana comes on the day of Epiphany to fill the stockings up with gifts and treats.

Epiphany in Poland and Belgium is a mix of Christmas and Halloween since the kids go door to door singing for candy.

Epiphany Traditions

People in Ireland are progressive and call their Epiphany Nollaig na Mbean which means Christmas for Women.

The women of Ireland take their day off and relax while the men do all the cooking and cleaning for the day.

Germany and Australians have a ritual on Epiphany where they get chalk and make signs and markings in front of their house.

They mix the names of the three kings with the current year and believe that it will protect them until next year.

Orthodox churches in Ethiopia celebrate Christmas and Epiphany 12 days later than others.

They call their holiday Timkat and it celebrates Jesus’ baptism for three days. Americans in New Orleans call Epiphany King’s Day and eat King’s cake to celebrate. King’s cake is made with jelly or cream cheese with sugar and cinnamon on top.

Inside of the cake is a little baby figurine and whoever gets it has to buy the next batch of king cakes.

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Instead of taking down the tree on Christmas people replace the decorations on the tree with gold green and purple for Mardi Gras. Epiphany eve is the end of Christmas for everyone until Candlemas comes around.

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Main Points About Epiphany Story

  1. The Epiphany story is a special day in the Christmas story.
  2. It is the story of how the star led the magi (also known as the three wise men or the three kings) to visit the baby Jesus after his birth.
  3. The word Epiphany comes from the Greek word ‘to reveal’. It is when the Baby Jesus was revealed to the world.
  4. In the story, the magi from the east follow a star to Jerusalem, where they asked King Herod for the newborn King of the Jews.
  5. When the magi found Jesus, they bowed and worshipped him. They also gave him gifts.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Epiphany Story

  1. What do you eat on the Epiphany?

    The day of epiphany is considered to be the day of lights. Various dishes which are made up of oranges are consumed on this day.

    Spicy and exotic cakes are also consumed on this day. The spicy cake is considered to be a traditional epiphany desert.

  2. Why is it called Epiphany?

    The meaning of the word epiphany is showing forth or coming forward. The magi visited them during the Christmas eve and gave the people the light in the right direction of the deeds.

  3. What's another word for Epiphany?

    Another word for epiphany is theophany.

  4. Does Christmas end on Epiphany?

    According to the Christian calendar epiphanies marks the end of the Christmas eve. Epiphany comes on the twelfth day of the Eve.

  5. What do you do during the Epiphany?

    One of the best way to celebrate epiphany is by celebrating the day with friends and family by eating Kings cake. Small toy is hidden inside the cake which is of a child. All the people who are eating the cake try to find that which resembles the finding of baby Jesus.

  6. What are the symbols of epiphany?

    The gifts of the Magi – gold, frankincense, and myrrh – are themselves richly symbolic: the gold heralds the kingship of Christ, the frankincense his High Priesthood and the myrrh his death and burial. All of these things are considered to be symbols of epiphany.

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Conclusion

Epiphany is a special day observed in the remembrance of the wise men visiting Jesus Christ. The star of Bethlehem guided them to reach the place where Jesus was born.

On reaching Israel, the wise men presented gifts to baby Jesus. To mark this event, the kids are given gifts on Epiphany by their elders.

Another importance of Epiphany is that on this day, Jesus Christ was introduced to the world for the first time except for His parents.

Word Cloud for Epiphany Story

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Epiphany Story. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

References

  1. https://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/Epiphany-revelations.html
  2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/42565054
  3. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-is-epiphany-2017_n_586fc793e4b02b5f85887e84

Hi, I'm David, a Christmas fan boy (and expert!) from the Idaho, USA. If you looking to talk about all things Christmas, I'm the person on the internet t! Through running the site, I've become an expert on all things Christmas :)