It is so cold that we stayed inside, enjoyed watching the snow and read about Epiphany traditions. Being homeschoolers, we're always looking for new things to learn and today is an excellent day for Geography (a good way to celebrate the last day of vacation!).
For instance, Bulgarians have the "blessing of the waters" to commemorate Jesus's Baptism where the priest tosses a cross into the river (sometimes they have to cut a hole in the ice...brr) and a bunch of guys jump in to retrieve it. Says child #2, "if you find the cross you're lucky that day!" (thinks me, "if you don't die of hypothermia, you're lucky that day!") They also do this in Greece, which is more temperate for diving into rivers.
In Italy and Russia (and likely lots of Easter European countries), La Befana or Babushka are major figures in tales about Epiphany. The women were annoyed that the Wise Men interrupted their cleaning in their search for the Christ child. In response, they gave the Magi incorrect directions! Afterward, with a troubled conscience, the women set out with gifts and goodies to catch up with the Magi in their journey. Alas, they were unsuccessful but did leave their loot with all the sleeping children along the way. I love this story...don't spend so much time cleaning that you miss the important things!
In Hispanic countries, there are HUGE parades and festivals. For most, this day is bigger than Christmas itself. I was thinking about that...this is the day that the Magi, the Wise Men, realized that Christ is the King we should all worship; Our Savior. Compared to a quiet (except for the Heavenly Hosts) birth in the manger, it does seem like this would be a day to rejoice!
Then I looked at my mantle that has the candle covers of the stable, the shepherds, and the magi. Funny that God would tell simple shepherds the news first and it would take the smart guys almost two more weeks to catch on. I'm thinking He is trying to tell us something there.
We had a sick little person around here this morning so most of our festivities had to be curtailed. We found things to do, like reading a book about the Epiphany traditions in Puerto Rico. It seems like we're picking more and more books that "happen" to have recipes in the back. Ahem. Fine with me...now dessert is done ;0)
|First, a fun game of The Three Kings' Journey|
|Mise en place|
|mmmm coconut milk|
|coconut, cinnamon, yum rice pudding|
|Whew. The last of the Christmas presents. We made it!|
Whatever your tradition and whether you celebrate Epiphany today, on the 12th day of Christmas, or on Sunday with the Church crowd (or both!), let's be sure to relive the Epiphany that the Wise Men had...Christ is our King and Savior. Oh come let us Adore Him!
We are blessed.