Epiphany—Flurries of Awesomeness All Around the World


In researching today’s post, I discovered one incontrovertible fact: Epiphany rocks!

January 6th, Epiphany, marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas, (12 days of Christmas is actually a thing. Who knew?). It is a celebration of Jesus’ baptism by John the Baptist and the visitation by the Three Wise Men, which is why it is sometimes called Three Kings Day.

All around the world, Christian communities celebrate Epiphany with great flurries of awesomeness. Here are some of them:

In Mexico it is traditional to bake and eat the Rosca de Reyes, (King’s Bread). Much like the King Cake of Mardi Gras, a small baby Jesus figure is placed in the bread and whoever gets him is charged with throwing a party on Candlemas in February. Tasty!

In some European countries, children leave their shoes out to be filled with presents. In others, they leave straw out for the Wise Men’s horses or donkeys. (Stockings and Santa cookies/reindeer carrots anyone?)

Eastern Europeans celebrate by having a priest throw a cross into the water and inviting people to dive in after it. -shiver- Whichever diver finds it first is the winner. I hope the prize is an electric blanket!

Back in the states, in NYC to be exact, a parade of brightly colored floats and puppets graces the streets. The parade is sponsored by the Latino museum El Museo del Barrio. Why we don’t have anything like that in LA is a mystery to me.

Oh wait! We do.

The Ethiopian Coptic Christian community in Los Angeles hosts a fantastic Timkat festival in honor of Epiphany every year. Their faith in the face of adversity is astounding.

Take some time today to celebrate no matter what religious background you come from. If you aren’t Christian, instead of celebrating Christ’s baptism and the arrival of the Three Wise Men, celebrate all the epiphanies, great and small, that you’ve had in the past year. What gifts has the Universe given you? How have your eyes been opened?

Most importantly, dance, pray, bake some delicious bread, eat some delicious bread, and rejoice!

-M.

PS
Here is a great video of the 2015 Timkat festival in Los Angeles:

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About M. Ashley

Essayist and poet, my work has been rejected by some of the finest journals in America. Fortunately, it also gets accepted from time to time and has appeared in equally fine journals such as Word Riot, Inlandia, Brew City Magazine, and SageWoman among others.. In 2002, I was awarded the Academy of American Poets Prize for Vanderbilt University. For no good reason, I possess an unnecessarily dark humor which is why being third generation California Inland Empirian delights me so. My gods are weird. I once received $350 for writing a smartassed essay on “why the wise use of water is important in my daily life”. I am undoubtedly the Greek god Hermes’ special snowflake. I’m pretty sure I got into college via a series of fortuitous clerical errors. When I had to grow up and get a real job, I decided against it and stayed a writer. I have worked many odd—and I mean odd—jobs to support my habit: Commercial writer for country music hopefuls, resume massager, WalMart fitting room attendant and switchboard operator, telephone psychic.
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