Life & Soul

How to… Celebrate the Epiphany

Men dressed as the Magi Kings ride camels through Prague (Getty Images)

The Epiphany is perhaps an under-celebrated feast in Britain, in comparison with other countries. Often it represents only the Twelfth Night, the day when trees and decorations must come down (if they are even still up), and when feasting halts with the end of the holidays and a return to work.

Yet even in Ireland it is a feast sometimes known as the “Women’s Christmas”, a day when husbands do the cooking; while in Spain, Italy and other countries it is the day when children receive the majority of their presents.

Austrian, German and Polish Catholics celebrate the Epiphany by chalking the initials of the Three Kings – Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar – upon their doors with the date of the New Year.

The Epiphany is celebrated elsewhere with cakes, often with toys inside, such as the galette des rois in France.

Culinary traditions are often the easiest to copy, so why not start the day with Mass and dwell on the meaning of the Gospels, the gift of Christ to all, before enjoying a delicious roast dinner (cooked by a man) and putting your feet up with a glass of your favourite tipple, giving thanks to the boundless generosity of our loving God?