Three Kings Day or Epiphany or Twelfth Night on January 6 celebrates three events:
- the arrival of the Magi, or Three Wise Men, or Three Kings, in Bethlehem to see the child Jesus
- the baptism of Jesus
- Jesus’ first miracle.
In Germany and other places in Europe, chalk is used to write the initials of the three magi over the doors of churches and homes.
The letters stand for the initials of the Magi (traditionally named Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar).
Also the phrase Christus mansionem benedicat, which translates as
“May Christ bless the house.”
In Spain, there are processions of the Three Kings through city main streets and big festivals.
In France, they eat lovely almond cake. And in New Orleans, it’s King Cake!
Read more about the extensive world traditions of Epiphany.
We were so happy to finally visit Köln/Cologne to see The Shrine of the Three Kings before we moved back to the States. It’s a beautiful cathedral.
I love this image so much from an old holiday card that I saved it:
We learn about frankincense and myrrh as we read books about the Magi. Reese’s Pieces represent gold so well!
I have our family nativity scene displayed through January 6, and have the magi travel throughout the living room until they reach the Holy Family.
May Christ Bless This House
- Make a King Cake or Galette des Rois
- Read about Daniel (precursor to the Magi?)
- Watch The Star (for little ones)
- Watch The Star of Bethlehem (for older)
- Put on a funny skit or play
- Read books about the Magi
- Visit, make, or learn about the Nativity scene
- Listen to Bach
- Sing carols about the Wise Men (I love We Three Kings of Orient Are)
- Little Blots Printables
- Paper Chain from First Palette
- Coloring Page from Christian Preschool Printables
- Kennedy Adventures
- Catholic Inspired
- Catholic Icing
- Living Montessori Now
- The Legend of Old Befana: An Italian Christmas Story by Tomie dePaola
- Three Wise Queens: A Story of the Nativity Gifts by James Allen
- We Three Kings by Gennady Spirin
- The Visit of the Wise Men by Martha Jander
- The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke
- The Christmas Horse and the Three Wise Men by Isabelle Brent
- Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer
- Home From Bethlehem: A Story of the Wise Men after They Came Home by Ghanda diFiglia