what is the tradition of three kings day

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), If this is a reference to a celebration of Christ's birth, as well as of his baptism, on January 6, it corresponds to what continues to be the custom of the Armenian Apostolic Church, which celebrates the birth of Jesus on January 6 of the calendar used, calling the feast that of the Nativity and Theophany of Our Lord.[70][71]. This tradition dated from a time when calendars were not readily available, and the church needed to publicize the date of Easter, since many celebrations of the liturgical year depend on it. The letters, with a cross after each one, are said to stand either for the traditionally applied names of the Three Kings in Polish – Kacper, Melchior and Baltazar – or for a Latin inscription meaning "Christ bless this house." In traditionally Orthodox nations, water, baptismal rites and house blessings are typically central to these celebrations. However, Hungarians, in an apparent reference to baptism, refer to the January 6 celebration as Vízkereszt, a term that recalls the words "víz" (water) and "kereszt, kereszt-ség" (baptism). [112], Epiphany, celebrated on January 6, is the feast for the Roman Church that commemorates the visit of the Wise Men, the magi. Many kids also leave out three glasses of warm milk and sweets for each of the kings, plus some hay or grass for their hungry camels. when the following February in the Gregorian calendar will have 29 days). This is undertaken gladly since having son serve as a king is considered a great honor and a blessing on the family. [130], In Transylvania (Erdély/Siebenbürgen), Lutheran and Reformed Christians of Hungarian and Saxon descent celebrate Epiphany with star singing and house blessing, as in Central Europe. According to historians, the blessing of the waters procession was the most magnificent of the annual Czar's court's ceremonies, comparable only to such special events as royal coronations and weddings. [108] "Al-Maghtas" meaning "baptism" or "immersion" in Arabic, is an archaeological World Heritage site in Jordan, officially known as "Baptism Site "Bethany Beyond the Jordan" (Al-Maghtas)". In some Spanish-speaking countries, three kings deliver gifts not Santa Claus. Whoever discovered a ring in his piece of cake (or bread) was elected as King or Queen and presided over the day's festivities. [135], Participants in the ritual may dip themselves three times under the water, honoring the Holy Trinity, to symbolically wash away their sins from the past year, and to experience a sense of spiritual rebirth. The water that is blessed on this day is sometimes known as "Theophany Water", though usually just "holy water", and is taken home by the faithful, and used with prayer as a blessing. Epiphany is also a time when the traditional Portuguese dances known as Mouriscadas and Paulitos are performed. The Saturday and Sunday after Theophany have special readings assigned to them, which relate to the Temptation of Christ and to penance and perseverance in the Christian struggle. Special three-corner apple cakes are eaten on this day, and as in other countries, star singing, visiting and house blessings have long been popular. HOLY TRINITY RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH, a parish of the Patriarchate of Moscow", "Bulgaria—Epiphany Day at an icy Sofia lake finds young men in hot pursuit. [78] In some places, especially Holland, these troupes gather for competitions and present their skits/songs for an audience. Some Christian cultures, especially those of Latin America and some in Europe, extend the season to as many as forty days, ending on Candlemas (February 2). In some cultures, the greenery and nativity scenes put up at Christmas are taken down at Epiphany. [91], Some Germans eat a Three Kings cake, which may be a golden pastry ring filled with orange and spice representing gold, frankincense and myrrh. People will not only bless themselves and their homes by sprinkling with holy water, but will also drink it. Therefore, in many celebrations there are certain similarities with the celebrations of Holy Friday during the time of Easter. In Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and Mexico City, the day is called "Día de Reyes" (The Day of Kings, a reference to the Biblical Magi), commemorating the arrival of the Magi to confirm Jesus as son of God. According to ancient custom, the priest announced the date of Easter on the feast of Epiphany. They may also receive gifts from children, grandchildren or other family members on this day. [145] The celebration attracts Greek Americans from across the country,[144] and the city's population is known to triple in size for that day. The person who finds the doll (or bean) must provide the next king cake. Those Eastern Churches which are still following the Julian calendar observe the feast on what, according to the internationally used Gregorian calendar, is January 19,[9] because of the current 13-day difference between the Julian and Gregorian calendars. There is thus a liturgical continuum between the Feast of Theophany and the beginning of Great Lent. The first reference to an ecclesiastical feast of the Epiphany, in Ammianus Marcellinus (XXI:ii), is in 361. Every year on the twelfth day of Christmas, January 6, the Ephipany (also known as Three Kings Day) is celebrated as a Christian feast day. It is also celebrated because, according to tradition, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist marked one of only two occasions when all three Persons of the Trinity manifested themselves simultaneously to humanity: God the Father by speaking through the clouds, God the Son being baptized in the river, and God the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove descending from heaven (the other occasion was the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor). Then the "Dive of the Cross" is performed: a cross is throwned by the priest in the sea, a nearby river, a lake or an ancient Roman cistern (as in Athens). As with customs in other countries, the fruitcake toss is a sort of festive symbolic leave-taking of the Christmas holidays until next year, but with humorous twist, since fruitcake is considered with a certain degree of derision in most of the United States, and is the source of many jokes. The collective name for the group is immortalized as the Filipino surname Tatlóngharì. As in other Orthodox heritage countries, water rites play a special role on this day. Paramony: The Eve of the Feast is called Paramony (Greek: παραμονή, Slavonic: navechérie). Three Kings Day, or “Feast of the Epiphany,” is celebrated in many parts of the world and marks the day on the Christian calendar when the magi brought gifts to the baby Jesus. Custom dictated that the youngest child present cut and serve the cake and whoever found the bean or prize in the Twelfth Night cake was crowned "King of the Bean" similar to the European king cake custom. The route before them is decorated with streamers, palm leaves and balloons with the smallest children present lining the way, shouting greetings to the Kings. [72] The blessing is normally done twice: once on the Eve of the Feast—usually at a Baptismal font inside the church—and then again on the day of the feast, outdoors at a body of water. [106][107][23], Thousands of Jordanian Christians, tourists and pilgrims flock to Al-Maghtas site on the east bank of the Jordan River in January every year to mark Epiphany, where large masses and celebrations are held. The 12th day of Christmas has its own unique traditions, and different parts of the world celebrate it in different ways. Certain such ceremonies have achieved particular prominence, such as the one held annually at Tarpon Springs, Florida. In Romania and Moldova, Epiphany is called Boboteaza. [65], Some western rite churches, such as the Anglican and Lutheran churches, will follow practises similar to the Catholic Church. Three Kings Day, as it is called in English, is inspired by the 3 kings who were traditionally supposed to have visited the baby Jesus with gifts, a few days after he was born. While the term loppiainen means "ending [of Christmas time]," in reality, Christmas celebrations in Finland are extended to Nuutti's or St. Canute's Day on January 13, completing the Scandinavian Twenty Days of Christmas. In Spain as well as other Spanish-speaking countries, the tradition has always been to observe Christmas Day as a solemn religious occasion, reserving Three Kings Day or Día de los Reyes. In ancient gospel manuscripts, the text is arranged to indicate passages for liturgical readings. However, for the Catholic Church today, "Christmas Time runs from First Vespers (Evening Prayer I) of the Nativity of the Lord up to and including the Sunday after Epiphany or after January 6",[46] a period not limited to twelve days. On the night of January 5th, the figures of the Wise Men are placed in the nativity scene. You’ve probably got this part down—from leaving hay for the three kings’ camels, to writing letters to the three wise men, to leaving boots outside of the door instead of stockings on the fireplace, there are plenty of tried and true traditions … Later in the morning, the water is blessed to the accompaniment of the reading of the four Gospel accounts of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan and the people are sprinkled with or go into the water. In parts of southern India, Epiphany is called the Three Kings Festival and is celebrated in front of the local church like a fair. In parts of the Eastern Church, January 6 continued for some time as a composite feast that included the Nativity of Jesus: though Constantinople adopted December 25 to commemorate Jesus' birth in the fourth century, in other parts the Nativity of Jesus continued to be celebrated on January 6, a date later devoted exclusively to commemorating his Baptism.[62]. [75], In the town of Kalofer, a traditional horo with drums and bagpipes is played in the icy waters of the Tundzha river before the throwing of the cross.[76][77]. Once at home, they inscribe "K+M+B+" and the year with the blessed chalk above every door in the house, according to tradition, to provide protection against illness and misfortune for those within. [84] A traditional dish for Epiphany was Twelfth Cake, a rich, dense, typically English fruitcake. [133] On a smaller scale, similar events would take place in the parishes throughout the nation. Before going to bed on the eve of January 6, children polish their shoes and leave them ready for the Kings' presents to be put in them. [23] The baptism of Jesus was originally assigned to the same date as the birth because Luke 3:23 was misread to mean that Jesus was exactly 30 when he was baptized. The liturgical season Denhakalam ("Weeks of Epiphany") commemorates the second revelation at the Baptism and the subsequent public life of Jesus. Some Methodists in the United States and Singapore follow these liturgies. Epiphany is a public holiday in Sweden, where it is known as "trettondedag jul" ("Thirteenth Day Yule"), as January 6 is the thirteenth day after Christmas Eve, the main day on which Christmas is celebrated in Sweden. Epiphany may have originated in the Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire as a feast to honor the baptism of Jesus. In the village of Reis Magos, in Goa, there is a fort called Reis Magos (Wise Men) or Três Reis Magos for Biblical Magi. Sunday after Pentecost". [85], In the Eritrean Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the feast is known as Timkat and is celebrated on the day that the Gregorian calendar calls January 19, but on January 20 in years when Timket in the Ethiopian calendar falls on Gregorian September 12 (i.e. [132] The priest-led procession could simply proceed to the font,[132] but traditionally the worshipers would go to a nearby lake or river. Athenians held a ceremony called "washing": the statue of Athena was carried in procession to the coast of Faliro where it was washed with salt water to cleanse it and renew its sacred powers. However, the end of the Christmas celebration is on January 13, St. Knut's Day, more commonly known as "Twentieth Day Yule" (or "Twentieth Day Knut"). If the night before Epiphany saw clear starry skies, it meant Latvia could expect a fine harvest in the coming Summer. On the eve of the feast, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated. Orthodox priests are on hand to bless the water, and rescuers are on hand to monitor the safety of the swimmers in the ice-cold water. A carol used as an anthem for Epiphany is "The Three Kings". The feast is preceded by a seven-day fast. Tried and True Traditions. The Maltese also have a long-standing custom of presenting concerts in honor of Epiphany, including the prestigious annual Epiphany Concert organized by the Malta Council for Culture and Arts, performed by the National Orchestra. Weaving and wood-cutting were "bad luck", giving both men and women a proper holiday, and if a dog was heard barking on Epiphany one ought to look for his or her future spouse in that same direction. In the Dominican Republic, the Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (The day of the Three Royal Magi) and in this day children receive gifts on the christmas tree in a similar fashion to Christmas day. do not celebrate or recognise Epiphany in any way. In Spain, children typically receive presents on this day, rather than on Christmas, though this tradition has changed lately, and children now receive presents on both days. Today, The Epiphany of our Lord,[47] classified as a Principal Feast, is observed in some Anglican provinces on January 6 exclusively (e.g., the Anglican Church of Canada)[47] but in the Church of England the celebration is "on 6 January or transferred to the Sunday falling between 2 and 8 January". Another of these Bauernregel, (German farmer's rules) for Epiphany states: Dreikönigsabend hell und klar, verspricht ein gutes Weinjahr or "If the eve of Epiphany is bright and clear, it foretells a good wine year.". The celebration of this feast features blessing of water and solemn processions with the sacred tabot. Some Russians think any water – even from the taps on the kitchen sink – poured or bottled on Epiphany becomes holy water, since all the water in the world is blessed this day. In Glamorganshire, a huge loaf or cake was prepared, which was then divided up into three parts to represent Christ, the Virgin Mary and the Biblical Magi. "[51] It presents the latter part of this period as the Epiphany season, comprising the Sundays of Epiphany and ending "only with the Feast of the Presentation (Candlemas)". Whoever recovers the cross is said to be blessed for a full year. In 385, the pilgrim Egeria (also known as Silvia) described a celebration in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, which she called "Epiphany" that commemorated the Nativity. [144] Tarpon Springs has given itself the nickname Epiphany City. The star singers solicit donations for worthy causes, such as efforts to end hunger in Africa, organized jointly by the Catholic and Protestant churches, and they will also be offered treats at the homes they visit. Traditionally, children receive gifts on this day, brought by the three kings, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar. Tradition is important because it offers flavor and spice, it tells the world a story about a certain culture. [5][53] Lutherans celebrate the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday as the Transfiguration of our Lord, and it has been said that they call the whole period from Epiphany to then as Epiphany season. [139] Most towns in Spain arrange colorful parades representing the arrival of the Reyes Magos to town so children can see them on their camels or carriages before they go to bed. This day marks the close of the Advent and Christmas season and people remove the cribs and nativity sets at home. Inside, the church will have been decorated with garlands. It is celebrated on January 6 of the calendar that a particular Church uses. [8], The traditional date for the feast is January 6. Hispanic Tradition. The custom was for women to gather on this day for a special meal, but on the occasion of Epiphany accompanied by wine, to honor the Miracle at the Wedding at Cana. The water is then distributed to attendees who may store it to use in times of illness, to bless themselves, family members, and their homes, or to drink. The next morning presents will appear under their shoes, or if the children are deemed to have misbehaved during the year, coal (usually a lump of hard sugar candy dyed black, called Carbón Dulce). A more typically Dutch version is Koningenbrood, or Kings' bread. In the Churches in a special rig embellished upon which brought large pot full of water[clarify]. This liturgy is referred to as the Chragaluytsi Patarag (the Eucharist of the lighting of the lamps) in honor of the manifestation of Jesus as the Son of God. Most often found in Switzerland, these cakes take the form of Buchteln but for Epiphany, studded with citron, and baked as seven large buns in a round rather than square pan, forming a crown. On January 6, a "Rosca de Reyes" (a ring-shaped Epiphany cake) is eaten and all Christmas decorations are traditionally put away. 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