The 6th January is known as the day of the “feast of Epiphany”. Epiphany comes from the Greek word Epiphaneia (Ἐπιφάνεια), meaning Manifestation.
This is the 12th day of Christmas also known as the end of the festive season. The feast of Epiphany, is a Christian feast that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as human in Jesus Christ.
This day marks two important events. It is the day that the three wise men followed the star to Bethlehem leading them to visit Jesus for the first time when he was revealed to the world. The three wise men were called Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar who brought Jesus gifts of myrrh, frankincense and gold. It is also the day that marks the baptism of Jesus Christ by John the Baptist. Pope Francis is holding the annual mass today in Vatican City in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome to celebrate these two historical events.
Epiphany is mainly celebrated by Catholics and Orthodox Christians. It’s a big and important festival in Spain, where it’s also known as ‘The festival of the three Magic Kings’.
According to Greek Orthodox Church’s traditions, a priest will bless the waters by throwing a cross into it as worshippers try to retrieve it. In Prague, there is a traditional Three Kings swim to commemorate Epiphany Day at the Vltava River.