Wednesday, 31 December 2014

How is the Feast of the Epiphany Celebrated in the World?

While Christmas holidays are about to finish in many countries, in others the festivities continue until January 6.
For the Epiphany or Three Kings' Day, children look forward to receive gifts from the Three Kings, the Befana or other folk characters.
In the Christian tradition, on January 6 is celebrated the Epiphany, which commemorates the visit of the Three kings to the Christ Child., will lead you to uncover the most beautiful and curious traditions related to this feast around the world!

Almost unknown in the rest of the world, in Italy children love Befana so much. According to the tradition, the Befana is an old woman, poorly dressed with a wide skirt and a kerchief on her head. She's a kind of witch who spends the night of January 5 by flying on her broom. She goes from house to house to fill up the stockings of good children with sweets, dried fruit or toys, while bad boys and girls will receive a lump of coal. The origin of this Feast is very ancient and is a mix of Christian traditions and folk elements.

the Befana tradition in Italy

On the early morning of January 6, Spanish children wake up to see what the Three Kings brought them.
According to this tradition, on the evening of January 5, children welcome the Three Wise Men by placing in front of the door a large glass of water in order to thirsty the camels and give them something to eat.
On this day, many Spanish cities arrange colourful parades representing the arrival of the Reyes Magos, for the pleasure of children and their families.
If you want to experience the charming atmosphere of the Three Kings parade, have a look at our special offers in Spain.

Three kings parade in spain

In France, Epiphany isn't a public holiday and therefore is celebrated on the Sunday before or after January 6.
For this Feast, women prepare a cake which contains a charm, called fève (bean in English): who gets the piece of cake with this trinket will become the king or queen of the day.
This ancient custom was born in the period of the Roman Empire and has been passed down till the present day.
In the northern part of France, on this occasion is savoured a cake called "Galette des Rois". It's tradition to cut this cake into as many slices as the present guests, plus one which  is called "the part of the Good God" or "the part of the poor".
In southern France, it's tradition to prepare a crown-shaped cake or brioche, decorated with candied fruit and sugar.

Epiphany traditions in France

According to the Orthodox calendar, in Russia Christmas is celebrated on January 6, when Father Frost accompanied by Babushka, a nice old woman, gives gifts to children. To experience the charm of Christmas in Russia, visit this country in this season.
For more practical information on where to stay and what to see, please consult our section dedicated to Russia.

Epiphany day in Russia with Father Frost

In Germany, only three federal states commemorate the arrival of the Three Magi on January 6. To celebrate this Feast, priests and altar boys use to go door to door to collect offerings and in return, they recite a few religious songs.

In Iceland, Epiphany Day is called the thirteenth day, because from Christmas until this date pass 13 days. According to the custom, every day from December 11 to 25 arrives a Santa Claus. Then, from December 25 until January 6, every day one Father Christmas will leave the town declaring in this way the end of the Christmas Season.

epiphany day in island

Do you celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany? And how?
Whether you celebrate January 6 or not, wish you a very 

Happy Epiphany!

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