Epiphany 2021 is also known as the feast of the epiphany, Theophany, or Three King’s Day. Many Christians all across the world annually celebrate epiphany as a public holiday. As it is marked as two main events of Jesus Christ’s life. The first one is when three (but according to the story of Henry Van Dyke. There were four, writes Marguerite Theo Phil) wise men came from the east to see the infant, Jesus. The other one is when Jesus was baptized by ST John. Epiphany is celebrated on the twelfth day after Christmas. In addition to this, Christians also let down their Christmas decorations on this day.
When and Where is an Epiphany 2021?
As we all know there are two Easter and Christmas. Many Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, and other western churches observe Epiphany 2021on 6 January as they celebrate Christmas on 25th December. On the other hand, some eastern orthodox churches do celebrate Epiphany on 19 January. As their Christmas Eve falls on January 6.
The list of the countries in which epiphany is celebrated are as follows:
- United States
- United kingdom
- San Marino
- Vatican city
What is meant by the word “epiphany”?
The word epiphany is derived from the Greek word “Epiphaneia”, which means “appearance”. Moreover, It is also defined as the appearance of an invisible divine. It is referred to as the manifestation of Jesus Christ to the world. It commemorates the day when Jesus Christ appears to the world after his birth. In some countries, it is also known as “Three King’s Day”.
What is the origin of epiphany?
The origin of epiphany is from the Eastern Church. Jesus’ birth was first celebrated by 354Ein Rome on 25th December. At first, Jesus’ birthday and epiphany were celebrated on the same day. Later in the 4th century, the church started celebrating epiphany separately on 6th January. But many churches moved Jesus’ birth date from 25th to 6th January.
History and facts of epiphany
- Epiphany 2021 is celebrated to commemorate the manifestation of infant Jesus to the magi, who came from the west. But according to some books and articles, there were four magi. However, the number of magi not mention in the bible. So, it is considered that magi were four to twenty in number. In the bible-just three gifts from the magi are mentioned.
- Moreover, this is also the complicated matter that those magi were men or wise men as do people have made their wrong assumptions. They were likely to be considered the Zoroastrian priests. In 2004, a general church of Europe concluded that “magi” doesn’t tell us about the specific gender or about the level of their intelligence. It means that in the Bible it is not specified that those magi were men or women.
- The three magi were considered to represent Europe, Arabia, and Africa respectively.
Celebration of epiphany all across the world
In the countries like Austria, Colombia, Croatia, Poland, Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Uruguay, Spain, and Ethiopia, Epiphany is celebrated as a public holiday, whereas in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, it is not a public holiday for the celebration of epiphany.
Epiphany is celebrated in different ways by different countries. This festival is celebrated in different countries with special pastries, while in some children just receive the present on epiphany rather than on Christmas. However, in some countries, children receive gifts in their shoes. We have mentioned some popular traditions of epiphany below:
It is not any public holiday in France. So, the traditions are mostly observed on the first Sunday in the month of January. In the 14th century, the people of France just changed the way of celebrating of epiphany. They cut and eat a cake named “la galette des Rois”. The cake must be divided into every guest with an equal piece of slice. An extra slice of cake is reserved for any unexpected stranger person. Also, That puffy cake is filled with almonds inside. A charm is also filled in the cake. This is an interesting part of the celebration. The lucky person finds that charm and then called the king or queen of the day.
Since 1770, it is abolished as an official church festival. It is also known as the twelfth night of Christmas. People light up a special candle with three wicks. When the candle goes out, it simply symbolizes the end of Christmas. However, there are only a few people in Denmark who arrange parties, go out, wear new clothes and exchange gifts, and go from house to house.
The way of celebration in Italy is quite different from others. It is the visit of witches in their houses rather than the kings and queens. Unlike other countries, women’s children do wear the costumes of witches. The witch delivers the presents to small children one night before the epiphany.
As orthodox do celebrate their Christmas on 6th January, they celebrate epiphany on 19th January. The festival through which they commemorate the baptism of Jesus (the explaining of water rather than the visit of magi). But it still marks the end of the Christmas cycle.