Just in case you were sleeping through Sunday Church, here is a little reminder of what kind of a holiday Epiphany is. It is a church holiday which is mostly celebrated in Protestant and Roman Catholic churches and it celebrates the day when the three kings reached Nazareth and the place of Jesus’ birth. They followed a star to the site, foretelling the birth of the savior.
In Western tradition, Epiphany is celebrated on January 6, the 12th day of Christmas.
In a number of churches, this particular holiday is considered to be the annual blessing of people’s homes. A pastor or a priest will give a blessing to the chalk which the people will then take home and write with it on the front doors. The writing on the door will include the year in question, as well as the initials of the three kings – CMB.
In Orthodox Christian tradition, the holiday includes the celebration of the birth of Jesus, recognition of Three Kings and Jesus; introduction to the temple, complete with his baptism.
If you wish to celebrate the holiday, you can visit the local church and share king cake with other church goers. This kind of cake is very similar to pastry served in New Orleans on Mardi Gras. If you happen to find a coin in the cake, you will receive a crown to wear for the day.
If there is an Orthodox church in your area, you can witness the Epiphany procession and observe the decorations that are idiosyncratic for this holiday.