Epiphany, also known as Theophany, is an important day of celebration in some branches of Christianity.
On this day, Christians celebrate the visit of the three kings or wise men to baby Jesus.
Here are 10 facts about Epiphany:
1. Epiphany is celebrated by many different Christian denominations on January 6th each year, either following or on the same day as the Orthodox Christmas celebrations.
2. In some countries, such as Poland and Italy, it is a public holiday.
3. The Latin word Epifania comes from Greek meaning “manifestation", usually of divine power and refers to Jesus being revealed as God’s son to all of humankind following his birth.
4. According to tradition, at least three gifts were brought to Jesus by the three wise men (or kings). These gifts were gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
5. An interesting twist on this tradition has developed in parts of Europe where children leave their shoes out expectantly for presents from one of the three wise men in exchange for hay and carrots they left for his camel! Kind of like a second Christmas!
6. The Eastern Church assigns other traditional meanings to this festival, such as associating it with Christ’s baptism or Christ coming out of Egypt after fleeing Herod’s rule.
7. In many churches, a special ceremony called “The Blessing of Water” takes place which symbolizes purification from sin and renewal through baptism – emphasizing that anyone can be called into a relationship with God regardless of background or beliefs before conversion or baptism into Christianity
8. In addition to blessing water some churches also bless chalk during the service for marking doorways with 20 + C + M + B + 24.
Don't panic! This is NOT a math formula!
We all use a four-digit year format which represents all four digits of the calendar year. The first two digits represent the century and the last two digits represent the year.
So, if you want to chalk your doorway during the epiphany make sure you write down the correct blessing for 2024 which is 20 + C + M + B + 24
The plus signs represent crosses, and the letters C, M, and B have two meanings.
One is that the letters represent the initials of the three kings: Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar. And the other meaning is from a Latin phrase for a blessing, ‘Christus Mansionem Benedicat', meaning ‘May Christ Bless This House'.
9. Following Epiphany there are 40 days until Lent begins on Ash Wednesday to represent Jesus being in the wilderness fasting before his ministry began - leading up to Easter Sunday where he will rise again.
10. Alongside family celebrations held on January 6th people may also take part in processions held outdoors featuring a large figure depicting one (or all) of the Three Wise Men riding on horseback followed by a crowd singing carols!
Did you know all these facts about Epiphany?
Here's another one - Did you know that Epiphany is technically more important than Christmas, ranking after Easter and Pentecost? It is a day of gifts in many countries.
Hmmm...more gifts you say??? 🤔