Epiphany is a Christian feast day that is celebrated globally on the 6th of January every year. Epiphany is a double event celebration, it is a commemoration of the visit of the three wise men or the three kings to the infant Jesus and this day is also a commemoration of the baptism of Jesus by St. John in the Jordan river.
In countries such as Cyprus, Poland, Ethiopia, Colombia, Croatia, Austria, Spain, Slovakia, Germany, Uruguay, Greece and in the US Virgin Islands, Epiphany is celebrated as a public holiday. On the other hand, other countries do recognize this day but does not consider it as a public holiday.
Epiphany, Theophany or the Day of the Three Kings is a feast day for Christians. As mentioned earlier, Epiphany is a celebration of two memorable events in the lives of Christians. For the Western Christians, this day is a celebration of the three kings’ (also known as wise men or Magis) visit to baby Jesus. In some Western Christians, this day also marks the liturgical season of Epiphanytide. On the other hand, for the Eastern Christians, Epiphany is the celebration of Jesus’ baptism and his manifestation as the Son of God to the world.
Epiphany literally means manifestation while Theophany means manifestation of God. It is one of the oldest celebrated feasts for Christians. Although, the church have confirmed that Epiphany is derived from a pagan festival which was celebrated as early as 1996 BCE. This pagan festival (which is also celebrated on the 6th of January prior to the Gregorian calendar) is known as the winter solstice which the ancient Egyptians celebrate as a tribute to the Virgin Aeon.
Symbols of Epiphany
The three wise men, the star that guided them to Bethlehem and the gifts they gave to Jesus are the main symbols that we often see that represents Epiphany. The baptism of Jesus is considered to be the first step to crucifixion according to the Orthodox churches. While the color white is the liturgical color of Epiphany.
What Do People Do?
The countries that consider Epiphany as a public holiday such as the US Virgin Islands, do have celebrations on this day. Parades, parties, treasure hunts, Sunday school activities for kids and luncheons are only to name a few of the activities done on this Christian feast day.
What Can You Gift On This Day?
You can add some holiday spirit to this feast celebration by giving your friends and family some Epiphany gift ideas from the list below:
A mini incense box, this would be a great gift idea to relive the Epiphany experience. This contains three bottles containing 5 grams of incense resin each which may be used for rituals and meditation. Frankincense is used by the ancient people to worship at a temple. It is also associated with cleansing and is often used to remove negative vibes. Myrrh is used for embalming and for skin irritations before by the ancient people but is it also known to boost the spirit by promoting confidence, strength and even happiness. This gift set is a physical representation of the three gifts that the magis have given to the infant Jesus of Bethlehem. You can use this on your role play for the Epiphany celebration or even as an aesthetic part of your desk at home or at the office.
Novelty Gift Mug. On a lighter note, this novelty gift mug with the caption “Three Wise Men, you can’t be serious” is a gag gift that is not offensive that you can surprise your friend or loved one with this coming Epiphany season. This novelty mug is ceramic and can house your favorite morning starter such as your favorite hot choco or your alluring hot coffee. This handmade mug is made in the UK and can be shipped worldwide. This Three Kings Day mug is also a cute gift idea that would be perfect for Epiphany.
Three Kings Soap. This soap is especially made for the Three Kings Day but can also be enjoyed all year round. It is made of essential oils and spices that made it so irresistible to smell and makes the skin soft to touch with every wash.
You can tell the youngsters about the significance of Epiphany through this children’s book entitled: The Three Wise Men: A Christmas Story.
Willow Tree The Three Wisemen is a great gift idea that would beautify one’s office desk or coffee table. This willow tree figurine is a perfect replica of the three wise men bearing gifts for Jesus that symbolizes Epiphany. In addition, these table top figurines which showcases the three magis on camels while following the star of Bethlehem to find Jesus is a definite show stopper and a great conversation starters for sure!