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
Cheryl Gerou says
My Opah always said that you should try to learn something new every day. I am so glad I stopped by, because I learned many new things! Thanks so much for sharing about Epiphany! Many blessings to you in the new year!
Jessi's Design says
Love this! I know a lot of folks that do similar things to celebrate! Happy new year to y’all!
This is a lovely, informative, post. Good ideas for celebrating Epiphany!
April J Harris says
Thank you so much for sharing this. Although I am a Christian I did not know about some of these traditions nor was I familiar with the “CMB” expression . I was so interested to learn more about Epiphany. You’ve provided some great resources too. Thank you so much for sharing with the Hearth and Soul Link Party, Jennifer. Happy New Year!
Lauren Sparks says
Thank you for the lesson. I love learning new things about how others celebrate! laurensparks.net
Lydia from Life Beyond the Kitchen says
We enjoy a roscon de reyes or two every year. They start selling them in Spain before Christmas and they’re huge, but a few bakeries sell small ones. I grew up in the Episcopal church and have Orthodox friends, but it wasn’t until we moved to Spain that I understood how popular the holiday really is. Thanks for sharing with us at Creatively Crafty #ccbg
Marva | SunSparkleShine says
Thanks for this, Jennifer. I didn’t realise that they all were celebrated on Jan 6th. I’m learning something new every day.
Blessings to you and Happy New Year.
Thank you for the lovely suggestions on how to celebrate Epiphany. Love the picture of the 3 kings and their entourage! :)
Amber Ferguson says
Thanks so much for sharing at TFT! Have blessed New Year!
Sara F says
I love that you celebrate the Epiphany! I never realized that king cake was associated with it.
King cake is also around Mardi Gras. Anytime we can eat cake!
Janine at ThriveOnOneIncome.com says
What is the 20 and the 16 for on the sign? The C M & B is for the magi, but the numbers?
Very interesting. I learned a lot! Thanks
It was the current new year date.
Tina at Mommynificent says
Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday at Mommynificent.com! :)