Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Epiphany


Today is the last day of Christmas. What? You have already taken down your Christmas decorations? You thought Christmas was over on December 25th? Oh, no! There was so much more.

First of all, December 25th starts the traditional "Twelve Days of Christmas". A lot of people think the Twelve Days are the days leading up to Christmas, but these are actually the twelve days between December 25th and January 6th.

Lots of people think the "Twelve Day of Christmas" is a nonsense song written for children while some people feel that it was written to remind people of Biblical significance. You can find "evidence" either way. However, I love the great reminders that they have associated with it.

1st Day - Partridge in a Pear Tree (Jesus Christ, Son of God)
2nd Day - Two Turtle Doves (Old and New Testament)
3rd Day - Three French Hens (Faith, Hope and Love)
4th Day - Four Calling Birds (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)
5th Day - Five Golden Rings (Pentateuch: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
6th Day - Six Geese A-Laying (Six Days of Creation)
7th Day - Seven Swans A Swimming (Seven Gifts of Holy Spirit)
8th Day - Eight Maids A Milking (Eight Beatitudes)
9th Day - Nine Ladies Dancing (Nine Fruits of the Spirit)
10th Day - 10 Lords a Leaping (10 Commandments)
11th Day - 11 Pipers Piping (11 Apostles - does not include Judas)
12th Day - Twelve Drummers Drumming (Twelve Points of Apostles Creed)

The Twelfth Day of Christmas celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise men to present gifts to Jesus. Not at the manger, but at his home when he was a toddler. (Matthew 2:1-12) Traditionally you see three Magi in nativity scenes, probably from the fact of three gifts, even though in the Bible it never says how many Magi came.

Epiphany or Twelfth Night includes a big dinner along with the removal of Christmas decorations. We always include a King's Cake, remembering the visit of the Three Magi, in our celebration.

Happy Epiphany! I'm going to start taking down my Christmas decorations.

10 comments:

Dr. Wifey said...

i am taking down my little tree tonight! thanks for the Epiphany post :)

From the Doghouse said...

It's also the first day you can get king cakes in New Orleans!

Veggie Mom said...

Our decorations are down, but we're baking a Kings' Cake tonight...Happy Last Day of Christmas!

mayberry said...

I always learn something new from you.

K Storm said...

I like to leave my tree up until Epiphany...I also am looking forward to a little king cake...Village Confections in Canton has some good ones!!

Sharon said...

They are doing the Epiphany diving of the cross today here in florida.
You may see it on your news later.
I loved your explanation though!
I wonder what a king cake is though, I have never heard of that.
I need to look that up i guess.
Have a blessed day :)
Sharon

i'm black betty said...

thank you for the post. i had to take my down this weekend. i couldn't stand the clutter in my living room ONE MORE DAY!!! :D

(((HUGS)))

Amydeanne said...

very interesting! I didn't know that before!

Wyatt Earp said...

We took ours down today - in the hail. We specifically waited until the Epiphany to do so.

ADBulldawgs said...

Very interesting. I knew none of that. I think next year we will celebrate Epiphany with at least a king cake. Not sure I could go back to work with the decorations still up - it would haunt me.