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Epiphany and the End of the Holiday Season

Daniel Ho, News Writer

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What marks the end of the holidays and the holiday season?  For most Americans, it ends with the conclusion of gift opening.  Christmas is when all the gifts are delivered and when you open them up all at once.  Christians used to celebrate Christmas for 12 days straight starting on December 25 leading up to January 6, which is Epiphany.  January 6th marks the end of the festive season as well as the baptism of Jesus and his encounter with the Three Wise Men.

The beginnings of this holiday are from a period centuries ago.  Its celebration can be dated back to the 300s in Europe.  During the 4th century when Epiphany was first celebrated in Europe it was a celebration that had the same magnitude as the Christmas celebrations 12 days prior.  The celebration slightly shifted during the middle ages and Epiphany was celebrated as the whole 12 days between the 25th of December and the 6th of January.

Although there are some slight differences between the dates of Epiphany between the Christian religions, it is generally accepted that January 6th is a special day.  All the Christian religions agree that January 6th is special because of two specific reasons. One, because of the baptizing of Jesus, making this day his feast day, and two, to show appreciation and kindness towards the three wise men for showing their generosity towards Jesus.

Countries around the world from South America to Europe celebrate Epiphany as a public holiday.  Uruguay, Austria, Spain, Colombia, Slovakia, Croatia, Cyprus, Italy, Greece, Ethiopia, and Germany all celebrate Epiphany as another public holiday.  All of these countries and more celebrate Epiphany uniquely.  In Italy, the Pope holds an annual morning Holy Mass.  In Mexico, people go out and taste various King’s bread being sold.  Regardless of what you call January 6th, hundreds of thousands of people celebrate it, in a big way, globally as a day that marks the end of the festive season.

 Regardless of what you call January 6th, hundreds of thousands of people celebrate it, in a big way, globally as a day that marks the end of the festive season. 

 

 

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Epiphany and the End of the Holiday Season