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Friday, January 6, 2017

Epiphany, The Feast of The Three Kings

Today, January Sixth is Epiphany, The Feast of The Three Kings. According to a web-page for Christmas Customs and Traditions, "Epiphany is celebrated 12 days after Christmas on 6th January (or January 19th for some Orthodox Church who have Christmas on 7th January) and is the time when Christians remember the Wise Men (also sometimes called the Three Kings) who visited Jesus.

"Epiphany is also when some Churches remember when Jesus was Baptised, when he was about 30, and started to teach people about God. Epiphany means 'revelation' and both the visit of the Wise Men and his Baptism are important times when Jesus was 'revealed' to be very important.

"Some Churches celebrate use Epiphany to celebrate and remember both the visit of the Wise Men and Jesus's Baptism!

"Epiphany is mainly celebrated by Catholics and Orthodox Christians. It's a big and important festival in Spain, where it's also known as 'The festival of the three Magic Kings' - 'Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Mages', and is when Spanish and some other Catholic children receive their presents - as they are delivered by the Three Kings!"

New York City  (where I live) also honors this day with The Three Kings Day Parade which takes place in the East Harlem area. For years I've wanted to see the parade, this year I finally it! The photograph atop this entry features a banner that I saw at the event.

Normally, live animals, including camels participate in this annual festivity. However, it such a cold day that the animals who normally are a part of the parade had to pass it up. But one young woman did a work around and came dressed (in a costume that she made) as a camel, evidenced by the following pictures.

Others came dressed as donkeys and there were a number of folks who dressed up as The Three Kings.

The following are just a few pictures featuring folks dressed as The Three Kings. The first three feature close-ups of one "set" of Three Kings and the the fouth picture features another group dressed as the Three Kings.

These groups of Three Kings were a joy to see but I'll still enjoy the Three Kings (albeit a figurine variety) that make an annual visit to my home as seen below, in an image you may recognize if you have read a post I wrote for hometalk (HT) re celebrating The Feast of Three Kings in one's home.

I got them a number of years ago at More & More Antiques, an (an exquisite shop located on Manhattan's UWS), that is now selling my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcards. Steve Mohr, the sole proprietor of this shop is enthusiastic about my collection and at his suggestion, I may offer my cards in boxed-sets in the coming year! I've already created promo cards that feature thumb-nails of each of my postcards! They can be seen in the following pictures.

Steve is currently carrying each type of my postcards, and each type of them have also been given to the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum (at their request) on a consignment basis. Additionally, the gift shop at The Raptor Trust (a bird rehab facility in New Jersey), is currently carrying my fauna-themed postcards.

For your information, dear reader, all of these postcards can also be viewed within a prior post here on Blogger; as well as within a store-front page on my web-site, Every image within my postcard collection is from the iBook and ePub version of Cam's book, Words In Our Beak, Volume One.

All of these postcards, as well as the book, Words In Our Beak, Volume One, make great gifts to offer to friends and family whenever you celebrate Three Kings!

My tradition for celebrating this holiday is to serve Galette des Rois which is something I discussed in the aforementioned HT entry. According to Christmas Customs and Traditions, "in France you might eat a 'Galette des Rois', a type of flat almond cake. It has a toy crown cooked inside it and is decorated on top with a gold paper crown.

"There are similar traditions in Mexico where Epiphany is known as 'El Dia de los Reyes' (the day of The Three Kings). It's traditional to eat a special cake called 'Rosca de Reyes' (Three Kings Cake). A figure of Baby Jesus is hidden inside the cake. Whoever has the baby Jesus in their piece of cake is the 'Godparent' of Jesus for that year.

"In Italy, some children also get their presents on Epiphany. But they believe that an old lady called 'Befana' brings them. Children put stockings up by the fireplace for Befana to fill.

"In Austria, at Epiphany, some people write a special sign in chalk over their front door. It's a reminder of the Wise Men that visited the baby Jesus. It's made from the year split in two with initials of the names that are sometimes given to 'the three wise men', Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, in the middle. So 2014 would be: 20*C*M*B*14. The sign is meant to protect the house for the coming year. Some parts of Germany also have the tradition of marking over doors. The 'Four Hills' Ski Jumping Tournament also finishes on 6th January in Bischofshofen, Austria.

"At Epiphany in Belgium, children dress up as the three wise men and go from door to door to sing songs and people give them money or sweets, kind of like Trick or Treating on Halloween. Children in Poland also go out singing on Epiphany.

"In Ireland, Epiphany is also called 'Nollaig na mBean' or Women's Christmas. Traditionally the women get the day off and men do the housework and cooking! It is becoming more popular and many Irish women now get togogether on the Sunday nearest Epiphany and have tea and cakes!

"In the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (which celebrates Christmas on 7th January), twelve days after Christmas, on 19th January, the three day celebration of Ethiopians Timkat starts. This celebrates Jesus's baptism."

I'll be doing my routine of serving Galette des Rois with prosecco this evening in honor of the day and hopefully toasting some good news re Cam's book and or my fauna-flora-insect-themed postcards!


The non-hardcover version (or versions)  of volume one within the Words In Our Beak book series that are mentioned in this entry may only remain available for a limited time, but hardcover versions of volume one, two and three can now be found wherever books are sold.


Please click here to go to my blog post that provides details as to where you can get these books. Additionally, I have rendered some images from these books into other formats and they are available via Fine Art America (FAA). Some of my other photographs (Black & White CollectionKaleidoscopic Images and the famous Mandarin duck who visited NYC) can also be found on my FAA pages.

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