The holiday might be over for some folks on New Year’s Day, but some Christians have another holiday to anticipate after Christmas.
Every year on the twelfth day of Christmas, January 6, the Ephipany (also known as Three Kings Day) is commemorated as a Christian banquet day. For numerous Christians, the holiday season does not end till the Epiphany, which marks the scriptural worship of baby Jesus from the 3 kings (who are also called Wise Men or Magi). According to the Gospel of St. Matthew, the 3 kings followed a star to reach Jesus at the manger where he was born in Bethlehem.
” After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, throughout the time of King Herod, Magi from the east concerned Jerusalem and asked, ‘Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have actually pertained to praise him,'” the Gospel of St. Matthew states.
” After they had actually heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it increased went ahead of them till it stayed the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to your house, they saw the kid with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. They opened their treasures and provided him with presents of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
The kings used the baby gold, frankincense and myrrh. Huffington Post notes that gold is attributed to royalty, as Jesus is “king of the Jews.” The frankincense represents Jesus’s holy presence as God’s child. Myrrh, which is usually utilized as a preservative, signifies that Jesus was mortal and would die for our sins in the future.
According to ABC10, kids who commemorate the Epiphany generally leave their shoes outside their doors overnight on January 5 and discover toys and presents in them the following early morning. This is similar to how Jesus received gifts from the Three Wise Guys. Folks typically take down their Christmas tree and designs on the Epiphany or the day previously, which marks the end of the 12 Days of Christmas. If you leave it up after the Epiphany, it’s believed to bring bad luck.
In non-pandemic times, Three Kings Day is usually commemorated with parades and other events around the world. In Spain, the feast day is marked with wondrous parades. In Belgium, kids dress up as the 3 Wise Men, and go door-to-door singing. Rosca de Reyes, or Kings Cakes, are baked in Mexico to celebrate the Surprise. These cakes have a small clay or porcelain statue of baby Jesus hidden in the cake.