The feast of the Epiphany January 19: history and traditions
Epiphany — one of the most important Orthodox holidays. Annually in honor of this event solemn services are held, and Christians perform traditional rituals that have come to us from time immemorial.
Many believers are wondering what the essence of the feast of the Epiphany. This is currently the second name for Baptism, but it was not always the case. In ancient times, the Epiphany was noted on another date and had a completely different meaning than now.
To this day, the Catholic Church considers the Epiphany to be a separate holiday, not related to baptism.
The story of the feast of the Epiphany
Initially, the feast of the Epiphany was celebrated on January 6 and was dedicated to three significant episodes from the life of the Savior: Christmas, the worship of the Magi and Baptism. A special celebration was given to the birth of Christ, so the holiday was most often called the “Appearance” or “Enlightenment” — for the Savior came to give knowledge to those who are in the darkness of sinful delusions.
After a certain time, Christian communities disagreed that the date of the Epiphany should be honored first. Someone insisted on the paramount importance of Christmas, someone considered the main event of baptism — it was after him that the Savior began to carry the Word of God to people. This led to the fact that the celebration of Christmas was rendered on a separate date — December 25th.
At this discrepancy is not over. In Catholicism, greater importance was attached to the coming of the Magi; in Orthodoxy, to the baptism of the Lord. As a result, in the Orthodox tradition, Baptism and Epiphany became the name of a single holiday.
By the word «Epiphany» they began to understand that during the Savior’s washing in the waters of the Jordan River, the Lord revealed to the world his Triune Essence: God the Son, God the Father, who recognized the Savior from heaven, and the Holy Spirit, who descended on Christ in the form of a dove.
Traditions of the Epiphany
On the eve of the holiday — Epiphany Eve, or the Eve of the Epiphany, — a strict fast is established. By tradition, believers do not eat until the evening service ends and the rite of blessing takes place. They talked about the sochy, a special Lenten dish, but before that they would surely drink some Epiphany water.
At this time, it acquires extraordinary properties, has a healing effect on the body and soul.
Epiphany water needs to be collected with itself in order to save it for the whole year, because it cannot spoil. By the way, it’s not at all necessary to fill huge tanks: any water to which a drop of Epiphany is added becomes consecrated, so you can take the minimum amount from the temple. Epiphany water should be sprinkled on all the corners in the house: it is believed that this helps rid the home of the negative.
With the same purpose, the Epiphany draw crosses above the entrance to the house: according to legends, they protect the family nest from ill-wishers and ills.
After the evening liturgy and throughout January 19, believers dip into the Jordan — cruciform hollow holes, to cleanse themselves of sins and strengthen body and spirit. There are no hard rules for bathing, but according to tradition, believers sink into the water three times, baptizing and giving praise to the Lord. The priests warn those who are weak in health from diving into the ice-cold ice: it is enough to simply wash in holy water in Baptism — this will have the same meaning as washing in an ice-hole.
Meet the feast of the Epiphany with joy and give bright emotions to others. On this day, each case should begin with a prayer, and it is sure to be crowned with success. We wish you well-being and happiness, and do not forget to press buttons and