Epiphany

Epiphany

[ih-pif-uh-nee]
Epiphany [Gr.,=showing], a prime Christian feast, celebrated Jan. 6, called also Twelfth Day or Little Christmas. Its eve is Twelfth Night. It commemorates three events—the baptism of Jesus (Mark 1), the visit of the Wise Men to Bethlehem (Mat. 2), and the miracle at Cana (John 2). In his baptism Jesus' sonship to God was manifested to the world; in the visit of the Wise Men he was manifested as king to the Gentiles; and at the marriage feast at Cana his power to perform miracles (a divine prerogative) was shown. In popular celebration the feast is far more ancient than Christmas. Technically it is more important than Christmas, ranking after Easter and Pentecost. It is a day of gifts in many countries. In the Eastern Church the waters are blessed on this day. The word epiphany means a manifestation, usually of divine power. Thus the actual appearance of God (as in the burning bush) or a moment of divine revelation may be called an epiphany.

Christian festival celebrated on January 6. One of the oldest Christian holy days (along with Christmas and Easter), the festival originated in the Eastern church and was adopted in the Western church by the 4th century. It commemorates the first manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles, as represented by the Magi. The eve of Epiphany, called Twelfth Night, is thought to mark the arrival of the Wise Men in Bethlehem. Epiphany also celebrates the (much later) baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and Jesus' first miracle, performed at Cana.

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Epiphany may refer to:

  • Epiphany (holiday), a Christian holiday on January 6 celebrating the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus
  • Epiphany (feeling), the sudden realization or comprehension of the essence or meaning of something
  • Theophany, an appearance of a deity to man
  • Hierophany, a manifestation of the sacred
  • Darśana, Hindu term commonly used for "visions of the divine"

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