Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy epiphany

Epiphany is a Christian feast celebrated on the 6th of January. The origin of the world is from Greek which means “appearance" or "manifestation".
The commemorations defer between the western churches and the eastern ones.
In the west , it is the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus which is celebrated. While in the east it is the Baptism of Jesus in the Jordon river in which he was manifested as the son of God.
Traditions and rituals also differ between countries. In Spain and the Spanish speaking world children receive gifts from the three magi (Los Reyes Magos) on the 5th of January (the eve) it is the equivalent to Santa and they also eat a specific cake called roscón de reyes that contains a small statue of Baby Jesus. In France (as well as in Switzerland, Belgium , Canada , Louisiana) another type of cake is made , it is called La Galette des Rois and it contains also a small statue.
In Lebanon the feast is very popular among Lebanese Christians , as eastern Christians the traditions reflect the importance of the baptism of Jesus. That’s why people bring bottles of water to the church to be blessed, also the priests visit the houses and schools and pour blessed water all around in the house and the rooms to give the blessings of Jesus. It is also believed that Jesus pass by the houses at midnight and the trees inclines in front of the Lord, that’s why some families leave the doors open at midnight, and they also go pray outside waiting for Jesus’ passing and some make the dough and leave it to the morning after so that Jesus can bless it at midnight. The Lebanese also do some special pastries for the occasion.

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