Christmas is celebrated for over a month and the twelve-day period after December 25 marks the journey of the Three Wise Men who visit baby Jesus in Bethlehem. This period concludes on Jan 6, which is celebrated as Epiphany.
The new year has begun and Christmas was two weeks ago. If you don't feel like leaving the holidays behind, here's some good news for you. The holiday season is actually on until today, 6th January. If you still have all the Christmas decor up, if the Christmas tree is still standing tall in all its glory, don't feel guilty about it. Technically, it's still Christmas till the day of Epiphany so no, you're slothful. You are actually following an old Christmas tradition. Before the festivities actually come to an end, you can have one last feast before you start working on those New Year resolutions.
Jan 6: Feast of the Epiphany, the adoration of the magi, described as noble druids (druid uaisle) in Mart. Gorman pic.twitter.com/mgG9UuRGJG— Peritia (@PeritiaEditors) 6 January 2017
According to tradition and Christian theology, Christmas does not last just for a day. It lasts for over a month. It starts four weeks before December 25, and this period leading up to Christmas is called Advent. But that's not all. It goes on for twelve more days after the 25th. On the twelfth day, Christmas concludes and this day is marked as the day of Epiphany. January fifth or sixth can be Epiphany depending on whether you count day one on December 25 or start from the next day. These twelve days mark the revelation that Jesus is the son of God and also focuses primarily on the Three Wise Men, Catholic News Agency states.
In the twelve-day period referred to in the story in Matthew, The Three Wise Men, or the Kings of Orient, who are also known as the Magi are mentioned. After the birth of Jesus, these kings set-off to visit the newborn and pay their respects. The Three Kings then navigate using the North Star to find the manger in Bethlehem where baby Jesus was. They offer gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The holiday decorations are said to represent the North Star that the kings follow. So taking it down before Epiphany is believed to make it difficult for the Kings to bring their presents to Jesus.
A blessed Epiphany. This is the day that Jesus is revealed to the three wise men, who represent all of us. I hope your Christmas tree is still up! pic.twitter.com/PQ9LItLQdr— Cardinal Dolan (@CardinalDolan) 5 January 2020
That means Epiphany is also celebrated with a lot of gifts and a special Epiphany feast. There are many traditions that vary from country to country and even between the Catholics and the Protestants. In New Orleans, Epiphany is celebrated by eating "King Cakes" and keep the celebrations going till Ash Wednesday. Cakes are also baked in Spain, Mexico, and other Latino countries, reports USA Today.
Superstition dictates that taking down the Christmas tree and decor any time before the Epiphany brings bad luck. It was believed in the past that, tree spirits lived in the greenery during the winter and had to be released when Christmas was over. If they did not take down the trees on time, it was believed that vegetation would not grow, affecting agriculture, according to the Chronicle.
Epiphany is Jan. 6, you heathens— sarah kelly (@thesarahkelly) 26 December 2019