History of Epiphany: Ends the 12th Days of Christmas?

Image for post
Image for post
Adoration of the Magi

Christmas vs. Advent

So, the 12 Days of Christmas don’t end at Christmas, Advent does. Instead, the 12 days start with Christmas and end with Epiphany. These 12 days are sometimes called Christmastide. The subsequent “season” of Epiphany lasts from January 6 through the day before Lent. Some Latin American and European cultures extend this season to February 2 or Candlemas.

In the East

Epiphany is a Greek word that means manifestation, appearance, revelation, or showing forth. Historically, Epiphany began in the Eastern Church as the celebration of the nativity of Jesus Christ. As the celebration of Christmas spread eastward, Epiphany changed to its present meaning. It is ironic that in years when Chanukah overlaps Christmastide, that Epiphany is so close to Chanukah. We recall that the villain in the Chanukah history was Antiochus Epiphanes IV, or “Antiochus, God made manifest.”

In the West

In the Western churches (Protestants, Catholics, and Anglicans), Epiphany commemorates the “adoration” of the Christ Child by the Magi as they presented their gifts. In this way, they were “revealing” Jesus to the world as Lord and King.

Twelfth Night

Image for post
Image for post
Twelfth Night
Image for post
Image for post

Silicon Valley Tech Exec: Cloud, Data Storage, Automation. Author of fascinating articles about history, tech trends, andpop culture. Blog: http://billpetro.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store