Some sources say that the real birthday of Jesus was January 6th, others say that it was the day when Jesus Christ was first revealed to the world as a human being by the Magi. It is interesting that the Twelve days of Christmas were counted from January 6th backwards to the day after Christmas. We are all familiar with the popular Christmas song: The Twelve Days of Christmas.
It is even more astounding how many different traditions and folklore are connected to January 6th. The dark season in the Western Hemisphere has so many Pagan traditions. They were so influential that the early Christian Church leaders matched their celebrations according to some of the Pagan customs.
Because of superstition, the dark nights were believed that souls and spirits were roaming through the homes, and so it became practice to smoke out the home on the last night before January 6th.
In fact there are so many pagan rituals intertwined in our Christmas celebration which originally had nothing to do with Christ’s birth like the tree and sending out greeting cards.
Now some regions like New Orleans celebrate the feast of Epiphany with the King’s Cake (often a baby Jesus or other trinket maybe hidden in the yeasty dough), marking a door lintel with the Magi’s blessing, and elaborating worship with lighted candles. That seems a dignified celebration to end the Christmas season.
As I said before, it is not completely clear if the celebration of Epiphany commemorates the arrival of the magi to find baby Jesus or it is rather the occasion of his baptism when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Man Jesus, and proclaimed: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." Matthew 3:17
One thing is for sure is that the original Christians didn’t celebrate either day right away. It is not sure when the traditions started but it was somewhere around the 4th Century.
Epiphany is also used as an expression of intuitive understanding or a flash of insight.
I am just really amazed that God and the unseen world make so much effort to make themselves known to us humans, bringing messages, revelations and even the Messiah into our world. Even though, we are so thick-headed, ignorant, and resistant that it took God 6,000 years (not literal, rather Biblical) to disclose His true purpose (his-story) to us.
May we all have an epiphanic experience to connect once again to our creator and his dedication and faithfulness to us. It can only be a true parents’ heart to have that kind of perseverance, endurance and determination to put up with our obliviousness and worldliness.