Eventually, the Baptism of the Lord and the celebration of Christ’s first miracle were separated out from the Epiphany also. The Baptism of the Lord is now celebrated on the Sunday after the Epiphany and marks the end of the Christmas season. The Wedding Feast of Cana is observed on the Sunday following the Baptism of the Lord. Today, the Feast of the Epiphany, which is observed on the Sunday between January 2 and January 8, celebrates God’s revelation of the Messiah to the gentiles through the visitation of the Magi.
Throughout the world, many different traditions are celebrated on Epiphany. These often involve gift-giving (in honor of the gifts brought by the Magi), feasting, special cakes called “King Cakes” and other customs similar to Christmas. In fact, many cultures refer to Epiphany as “Little Christmas” and reserve the non-religious aspects of the Christmas celebration for this day. In the Eastern Churches, many traditions involve the use of water, such as swimming in freezing cold waters, blessing of holy water, and blessing of houses. Epiphany also marks the beginning of the Carnival season in many places, a period of celebration and rejoicing before the fasting of Lent.
On this Feast of the Epiphany, take some time to think about how God has revealed Himself to you in the past year.