Sunday, January 04, 2009

Celebrate Epiphany

Epiphany, also known as "Kings Day" is
traditionally celebrated January 6, bringing the twelve days of Christmas to a close. On Epiphany, Jesus, the Son of God, was made manifest, or in simpler words, shown, to the Gentiles in the persons of the magi from the East. In the US the feast is generally moved to the Sunday before January 6, but we can always celebrate it twice.

Today my little one and I made Epiphany cookies. They are my own creation, invented to have a treat she could help with and take to school for snack (though I chickened out on the snack part--it is supposed to be healthy and it is supposed to be 15 identical things and there is no way those cookies are identical, so I'm going to send them as take-home treats, with a note about house blessing attached). If you look at the cookies, they are in the shape of a crown, for the three kings. At the bottom are the numbers/letters 20CMB09. Here is a blog post with a simple house blessing (sorry, I had enough trouble with the letters/numbers, no way could I have fit crosses in there too).

Here in New Orleans, Epiphany is the start of the Carnival Season (yup, we move from one holiday to the next from Thanksgiving through Mardi Gras; Lent is a relief around here). King Cake is the favorite celebratory food. Everyone has their favorite; this one is mine. If you want to do something similar easily (assuming the bakery down the street doesn't have king cakes) buy or make any round danish or sweet roll. Make a little purple, green and gold icing or sugar and sprinkle on top. Lift it up and hide something under/in the cake -- either a dried bean (the old traditional standby or a small doll (check the toybox, I'll bet you can find one). Cut the cake, dole out the pieces. The one with the prize either 1) is king/queen for the day or 2) has to provide the next cake.

Here are some Epiphany activities for kids:
Kings Kids Stuff has some cute things. They appear to be generic Protestant. Domestic Church is a Catholic site and includes a house blessing. Catholic has puzzles, games, a coloring sheet and more. Catholic Culture suggests a family play to go with the house blessing. Domestic Church has even more idea. ABC Teachhas a coloring sheet of the Three Kings. They also have a rebus that kids may enjoy decoding. If you are one of those masochists who likes complicated crafts, try this rendition of the kings. Want to throw an Epiphany party? has coloring sheets too. DLTK has some Epiphany crafts and a cute song to sing. More coloring pages! Put together an on-line puzzle of the three kings. If you'd rather color on-line, try this.

That should keep everyone busy, right?
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