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What is Epiphany?

Explaining Epiphany and it’s traditions around the world. 


Ever wonder why we sing, “The 12 Days of Christmas”? Because it was 12 days after the birth of Christ that the wise men paid him a visit. It is also the time that the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist is celebrated. Epiphany is ‘an experience of a sudden and striking realization,’ so it makes sense that on that day, there was the realization that Christ is the Son of God. It is among the church’s oldest and most important days! 


While mostly celebrated by Catholic and Orthadox Christians (and to them it is as important as Christmas day), it has become more popular because of the traditions around it. Traditions meaning CAKE! Also known as ‘Three Kings Day’, it is a custom in various places around the world from France to Spain and even New Orleans to celebrate with a ‘King Cake.’ While the recipe is different depending on the country, they are famous for including a figurine resembling the Christ Child inside. Whoever gets the slice that includes the figurine will have good luck all year. 


Want to order your own King Cake and start a new tradition? We got you covered! 


Here are other ways Epiphany is celebrated around the world:


Ireland

We love this tradition! In Ireland Epiphany is also called 'Nollaig na mBean' or Women's Christmas. On this day women get the day off and men have to do the housework and cooking. For obvious reasons, this tradition is very popular! 



New Orleans

Epiphany is the launch of carnival season. It is kicked off with the Joan of Arc parade that marches through the Quarter. This is followed by the Twelfth Night Masquerade Ball. King Cake parties are also quite popular. Another reason to party! 


Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas on 7th January, so  twelve days after Christmas for them is 19th January. That is when their three day celebration of Ethiopians Timkat starts, celebrating  Jesus's baptism.


Belgium

Almost like Trick or Treating, children dress up as the three wise men and go from door to door singing songs and people give them money or candy.