“Epiphany takes over the other feasts”
Personally, it’s not more than a common and folkloric tradition,
Not only a religious feast, it’s funny and why not (?) interesting,
Come on let’s discover the ways linked to this day all over the world!
Originally Christian, the Epiphany in ITALY gets involved also laymen.
Schools are closed and offices are empty; the 6th of January in Italy is spent waiting for Epiphany, an old and ugly woman, neglected with a hooked nose.
The customs want you to put an empty sock on the way or on your window so that the day after you could find some sweet left inside by the likable old woman!
For the SPANISH, MEXICANS and CUBANS, gifts come from Magi!
According to the Hispanic manners, January 5th at night, children put a glass of water behind the door to quench the thirst of the camels and in return they receive gifts left inside the shoes they put near to the glasses.
Children are protagonists of Epiphany in Romania and in Hungary!
While priests go in and out houses to give their blessings, children do the same but to tell stories or fairy tales in order to receive some coins.
In countries where this feast is not recognized at all civil effects, it’s postponed to the Sunday between the 2nd and 8th of January.
That’s how it is in France, where the costum consists in baking a cake with a bean inside.
Who is going to find you? He is going to be proclaimed king or queen for the whole day!
In the South, we prepare delicious Brioche in form of crowns with candied fruit and sugar, while in the north, we use to cook the “Galette de Rois”.
One time ago, we cut it into numerous parts for the guess, putting aside a part for the first beggar who is going to present in front of the door. That’s why that part is called “part of the poor”.
In Germany, children dress up like magi, knocking doors to get gifts and thanking people for their kindness, singing praises like choirs.
The most peculiar manner stays in Island. The 6th of January is called “the thirteen“.
From the 11th of December on, each evening, thirteen “Santa Claus” are coming to visit. From the 25th of December and on, each of them starts to leave.
The 6th of January at night, the thirteen after Christmas, comes the last Santa Claus; he is the thirteen and the one to close the feast period.
The chill ends up with the rumour of the firework.
Epiphany is celebrated twelve days after Christmas, thus the 6th of January for the western churches which follow the Gregorian calendar and the 19th of January for the oriental churches which follow the Julian calendar.
It’s the case in Russia.
According to the orthodox, Christmas is on the 7th of January and gifts are brought by Father Gel and its assistant Babushka, sometimes it’s an old and gentle woman and other times it’s the gracious niece.
Epiphany then is celebrated on the 19th of January and is characterized by taking a cold bath. It’s a remembering of Jesus baptism.
The Timkat is the Coptic Epiphany, the most famous orthodox feast Ethiopia. The baptism of Jesus is celebrated in the Jordan and each January many people are involved.
In Australia and in America, they don’t know it at all!
If you ask something about it to someone there, they would answer… “What?!”
This post is also available in: Italiano