Ideas for Celebrating the Epiphany

In recent decades, the Feast of the Epiphany has often been lost in popular culture, even among Catholics. Yet, the 12th day of Christmas has a long history of rich customs and opportunities to celebrate the day when the Wise Men visited the Christ child.

Many different cultures have a variety of traditions surrounding this feast. Here are just a few ideas for you to celebrate with the kids and teens in your life:

  1. Leading up to the Feast: If you have a Nativity scene, place the Wise Men in a different part of the room or house. Each day, move (or have your teenager move) the Wise Men closer to the Nativity, following their journey to the Christ Child. On the Feast of the Epiphany, they should make it to the manger!
  2. King cake: There are many variations of "king cake" that is made to eat on this important feast. One tradition popular in North America is to bake a cake that has a small baby Jesus hidden inside (perhaps insert the figurine after baking...). Whoever finds the baby is considered the "Godparent" to baby Jesus for the year. Just make sure that everyone knows there is a figurine before they begin to eat!
  3. Blessed chalk for the doorway: Ask your parish priest to bless chalk one day after Mass. Then, mark your front doorway with the "20CMB20." The first number, "20," in this case, stands for the century, the letters stand for the Wisemen Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, and the second "20" stands for the year. Find a fuller explanation here.
  4. Twelfth day of Christmas party. Many Catholics have traditionally saved some presents to give on this feast when the Wise Men brought gifts to the Christ Child. It's also a great opportunity to sing all the Christmas carols one more time!

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