How is Epiphany traditionally celebrated? When does the holy Christian holiday begin?
Epiphany begins on Thursday, January 6, but people will begin their celebrations from tonight.
January 6 is a special date in Christmas history as it is the time when people celebrate how a star led the Magi – also known as the Three Kings or the Three Kings – to visit the baby Jesus after birth.
The term “Epiphany” derives from the Greek word meaning “to reveal”, as is the case when the baby Jesus was “revealed” to the world.
Therefore, that’s why you might hear people say they had an epiphany after realizing something.
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The celebrations commemorate the journey the three Magi are said to have taken to present gifts to the infant Jesus.
Spain and many Latin American countries traditionally exchange Christmas gifts on Epiphany.
Group swims are also used in some countries to celebrate the holy festival.
People from the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Greece and Russia all swim en masse at Epiphany.
Other traditions include buying cakes known as Roscón in Spain or Galette des Rois in France.
In Mexico, a cake known as Rosca de Reyes is eaten with a figure of the infant Jesus hidden inside. Whoever finds the figure is then known as Jesus’ godfather for the year.
In Austria, some people write in chalk on their front door to remember the wise men who visited the baby Jesus, while in Belgium children often dress up as the three wise men and do something similar to a trick or treat – singing songs to receive money or candy.