Thursday, January 6, 2011

12 Days of Christmas swap, Day 12: Epiphany

Today is the Epiphany. I have heard the word, but I always thought it meant something similar to what I found in my old American Heritage hardback dictionary. Here is what I read:
Sudden realization about the nature or meaning of something. An epiphany can often come about as a result of an experience that triggers the sudden realization.
But that is NOT attached to the 12 Days of Christmas, so I searched online. According to Your Dictionary, there are several definitions for Epiphany:
Ephiph-any (ē pifə nē, i-)

noun pl. Ephiphanies-·nies

  1. an appearance or manifestation of a god or other supernatural being
  2. in many Christian churches, a yearly festival, held January 6, commemorating both the revealing of Jesus as the Christ to the Gentiles in the persons of the Magi and the baptism of Jesus also called Twelfth Day
    1. a moment of sudden intuitive understanding; flash of insight
    2. a scene, experience, etc. that occasions such a moment
Yet another site, The Voice, had this to offer:
In western Christian tradition, January 6 is celebrated as Epiphany. It goes by other names in various church traditions. In Hispanic and Latin culture, as well as some places in Europe, it is known as Three Kings’ Day.

Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from the evening of December 25th until the morning of January 6th, which is the Twelfth Day. In following this older custom of counting the days beginning at sundown, the evening of January 5th is the Twelfth Night. This is an occasion for feasting in some cultures, including the baking of a special King's Cake as part of the festivities of Epiphany (a King's Cake is part of the observance of Mardi Gras in French Catholic culture of the Southern USA).
And finally, I found a good definition on the KU Medical Center Diversity Calendar website:

Epiphany (Christian)

Epiphany is one of three major Christian celebrations along with Christmas and Easter. It is celebrated by most Christians on January 6 to commemorate the presentation of the infant Jesus to the Magi, or three wise men. Roman Catholics celebrate Epiphany on the Sunday which falls between January 2 and January 8.

Epiphany is derived from the Greek epiphaneia and means manifestation or to appear. In a religious context, the term describes the appearance of an invisible divine being in a visible form.

The celebration of the Epiphany began in the Eastern Church and included a celebration of Christ's birth. However, by the 4th century C. E., the various calendar reforms had moved the birth of Christ to December 25 and the church in Rome began celebrating January 6 as Epiphany. Armenians still celebrate the birth of Christ on January 6.

The period between December 25 and January 6 is known as the Twelve Days of Christmas and is the subject of a popular Christmas song.
Ah-ha. Now we're getting somewhere. So whether you are a Christian or not, religious or not, here is the final gift from this great 12 Days of Christmas swap.

A snowflake showed what day this package was to be opened, while a tiny gold thread held the wrapping paper in place. Attached was an itsy light bulb and a metal tree charm.

Inside was an awesome drummer boy, and his twelve companions all stamped out and lined up ready to make some noise.The drummer sits above the background, and his chin strap is a string of gold beads.

I accidentally thought the back was the front. Some of these were designed so well, it was hard to tell which side was which. However, you can see this one was made by Jo Ann (I whited out her last name for security reasons). I have no blog address for Jo Ann.

This is the perfect end to an absolutely stunning swap! Happy Epiphany everyone. I guess, if you haven't already done so, it's now time to take down your Christmas decorations.

9 thoughtful remarks:

La Dolce Vita said...

looks like your swap was lots of fun! got any snow yet? lol! Happy Epiphany!

Nancy said...

This is amazing... such detail! I've enjoyed seeing each of the days.

Halle said...

Thanks for the lesson. I love that you take the time to research and pass along your new found knowledge.
Another beautiful page...Luck gal to be in both swaps.

Terri Kahrs said...

((Sigh!)) What a lovely way to close the Holiday season! Loved your explanation of this special day and actually shared it with my son. Hugs, Terri xoxo

voodoo vixen said...

What a fabulous way to end the swap, that wee drummer boy is so cute! My decs are all down and packed away till next year, and the house looks a little empty and drab now they are all gone!

Sherman Unkefer said...

Great post! I like that you take the time to research and sharing along your new found knowledge.

sandra de said...

such lovely gifts and thanks for explaining "ephiphany". You were in an amazing swap. Good luck with your journal, I used a 1.5" square punch (had been in the stash for 5 years and finally 2011 is its year). I hope to keep my diary entries short and simple, that way I might finish it. Look forward to seeing yours.
Sandra xx

see you there! said...

It was fun to see the swap unfold as you unwrapped each day's addition. I can't wait to see what your next swapping adventure will be.


Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

Happy Epiphany to you, and thanks for all the assorted definitions- VERY interesting reading! I have to admit that every time I hear the word "epiphany" it makes me think of that old Robin Williams movie, "Hook" when Smee tells the Captain that he's had an "Apostrophe" meaning "Epiphany".....I love that movie :) and I love your beautiful collection of the 12 Days- I'm sure you already have plans for displaying it next year!