06 January 2017
Falling on the twelfth day after Christmas Day, Epiphany marks the end of the Christmas festivities for Christians in the Western world. The word itself means ‘revelation’, thus Epiphany is a celebration of the coming of God to humankind through His son, Jesus Christ. In the Nativity story, Epiphany is the day when the three Magi (Three Wise Men) brought the baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. To commemorate Epiphany, some Christians attend a special service at a church, which may be decorated with a model scene depicting the Magi’s visit to the baby Jesus.
It is also traditional for Christians to remove their Christmas decorations on or before this day, because it is considered unlucky to display them beyond the 06 January, when the twelve days of Christmas officially ends. Some people in the UK hold Twelfth Night parties on this day, with family and friends gathering together to share Wassail (warm punch) and a special Twelfth Night cake. The person who finds the dried pea or bean in their slice of cake becomes king or queen for the evening and can tell everyone else what to do!
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