Friday, January 6, 2012

January 6th - Epiphany @ the World

January 6th was always the day my mother dismantled Christmas. Away went the ornaments into their boxes, the tinsel carefully unknotted and laid to rest and the now-naked tree went to the curb. She said it was Epiphany. I never explored "Epiphany" but I've held to the "out with Christmas on January 6th" all through adulthood.

Our small living tree will merely go out on the balcony to be lovingly tended until next Christmas and hopefully the one after that. Richie loves to decorate for Christmas with unexpected items popping up in odd places. The twirling Santa music box on the coffee table is normal. The small red mail box, decorated with painted sprigs of holly and mistletoe next to the wall heater is not. Since he put everything up, he gets to put everything away, giving me time to research "Epiphany." (, source)

The three wisemen visited baby Jesus on January 6th, thus (somehow) proving that He was Lord. I leave the discussion to much more religiously intelligent than I.

Epiphany is celebrated in Germany and France where the people dine on "King Cakes," a sort of extra-fancy coffee cake. In New Orleans, they start baking them up to eat until Lent.

In Ireland, it's traditionally a day off for Irish women, who have presumably slaved all during the holiday season. They go shopping, have high tea, those sort of hijinks.

In Puerto Rico, kids fill boxes with fresh grass for the Magi's camels. Come morning, the grass is gone and there are presents for the kids. Kind of like the American tooth fairy I imagine.

But here, all it means is adios, Christmas!

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