Thursday, January 2, 2014

Celebrating Epiphany Ideas

Our family likes to celebrate Christmas as a season along with the twelve days Christmas.  The 12th day is Epiphany when we remember the wise men visiting baby Jesus - the culminating of the season.  I usually save our stories with the wise men to read on that day.  A couple of days ago my mom called me and asked me about ideas to celebrate Epiphany with my nieces so I thought it would be great to actually be a little more intentional this year. 

Here is what I hope to do this year to celebrate The Feast of Epiphany:

We may make a King's Cake.  I think we will make a bundt cake (we're into bundts right now) that looks like a crown.  Traditionally a toy baby or 3 beans are baked into the cake as a surprise.  (King's Cakes are also traditional on Mardi Gras.)  Other sweet treats could be star or crown sugar cut out cookies.

Another tradition that sounds fun to me is a house blessing like the Magi's blessing on the family.  This is also known as "chalking the door".  The markings include the year along with C, M, and B.  These letters could be an abbreviation of the Latin blessing Christus mansionem benedicat, which means, "May Christ bless this house."  Some also say it stand for the traditional names of the Magi (Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthasar).  So this year would be 20 + C + M + B + 14.

Some games or activities for the day could include a Follow the Star parade stopping to visit Herod and Baby Jesus and then going home a different way.  I think we might get a helium star balloon to follow.  Or you can do a star scavenger hunt following 12 clues for the 12 days of Christmas to find the start.

Epiphany can also be a time of hospitality.  It seems the advent season can be so busy it is hard to fit in a get together with friends. If you want to include a simple meal you can make a crown pizza with 3 upside down slices a plate.  Have your friends bring cans of food or other gifts to give to a food bank or homeless shelter as gifts for the King.

Other tidbits:

*The three wise men were from afar which shows how Jesus came for all! 
*Many countries around the world celebrate Epiphany exchanging gifts on that day!
*Many families limit Christmas gifts to 3 representing the gifts of the Magi.
*Epiphany can also be a day of "undecorating" of "burning of the greens."
*Have you heard of the 4th wise man?
*You can study the stars.  January is a great month to see the sky.

And, of course be sure to read about the visit of the wise men in the Bible, Matthew 2: 1-12.

As the saying goes, Wise Men Still Seek Him!

Another great site for Epiphany ideas: Annie's Homepage

1 comment:

  1. I've never heard about Epiphany before! What a great celebration to extend the truth of the Christmas story and help people understand that the wise men came later. Thanks for linking up to Gingerly Made's Show & Tell