Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas is Officially Over

Christmas is officially over!

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany  although because the  Roman Catholic church has deemed that it is no longer a Holy Day of Obligation,  it is, in some places celebrated on the nearest Sunday to the 6 January.   I have never been able to understand how certain days are no longer Holy Days!

St Matthew's Gospel is the only one which mentions the wise men and he didn't write 'three'.  He merely mentions them in the plural. The Eastern (Orthodox) Church has always depicted the Magi as being twelve in number.

Matthew does describe them as opening their coffers and giving Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The early church in the West portrayed them as being three in number  which was probably arrived at because of the three gifts – gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The Magi it appears were not Jews.  it has been said that they represented each of the three races of the world – African, Asian and European.  Until the arrival of the Magi, all of the characters in the Christmas story are Jewish. Jesus himself was Jewish and his birth, which was foretold by Jewish prophets, was the fulfillment of the promises God had made to his chosen people, the Jews.  But with the arrival of the Magi  bearing gifts and paying homage to the Christ child comes the first indication that Jesus  had come to preach his message to the whole world, not just the Jewish people. 

So today being twelfth night is the day we in the West take down our Christmas decorations.  My mother was hot on that so I hope when I get home this evening my daughter has taken them down.  Funny how everyone is eager to put them up but no one ever wants to take them down and pack them away. Not because the rooms will look bare but because it seems like too much hard work!!!

Happy day whether you celebrate this Feast or not. 


  1. Bee--I had no idea that there were traditionally 12 magi in the Eastern Orthodox church! Thanks so much for helping my education. Now that the season is over, I think I'll start thinking ahead to Mardi Gras and lent. I want to make a king cake this year, and now is the beginning of the traditional time.

    Hope your daughter took everything down and packed it safely away for you. I'm moaning over the amount of stuff I brought back home with me, since I have no where to put it. LOL

  2. We are now in the Carnival Season which culminates in a two day celebration on Carnival Monday and Tuesday followed by Ash Wednesday. There are Carnival parties or fetes as we call them here. The band launches were last year when costumes were displayed and in the more popular bands, sold out by the end of the evening. As the weeks progress I'll hopefully (time permitting) be posting more about Carnival, the festivities and the traditions in Trinidad where contrary to popular belief, Carnival started! Rio has nothing on this country!!

    It's 9pm and I'm still looking at the decorations!! My daughter has been out all day and does not intend to return until at least midnight! I know we're ok until St John the Baptist's birthday!!!!!! I believe in the Eastern Orthodox church they leave the decorations up for three months!! Pity I'm not an Eastern Orthodox Catholic!! lol

  3. I have mine down. It is rather a ceremony for me as a very lovingly wrap each individually collected ornament. This year I made several more flowers with bows and a wreath that matches. I think next year I need to get another box for decorations. And more twinkly lights.

    I have candles burning this evening and part of a branch of the tree was burned on the fire tonight. Tomorrow begins, as you point out, carnival season. I am personally looking forward to Chinese New Year on the 3rd of February. Bye bye the year of the tiger and in comes the furry and soft year of the rabbit.

  4. I like your tree taking down ceremony. N took ours down this morning whilst I rushed R to the doctor - home now but he's really not very well. Damn flu - it's mashing him up but the severe drop in blood pressure was what frightened me. What is normal for the rest of us is considered too low for him.

    Here's to the Year of the Rabbit.

  5. Happy Carnival Season then! Yes, too true about putting xmas decor away. I was the same way too.

    Well put about the wise men. I've always pictured them coming from the east so being Asian mainly.


You are always welcome here . Thank you for visiting.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...