Holidays and Holy Days Around the World

Epiphany

Many Christians celebrate “Epiphany” to commemorate the visit of three wise men (or magi, or kings, depending on the tradition) described in the Christian Bible as visiting the infant Jesus.  Western Christians celebrate Epiphany on January 6.  There are various customs associated with Epiphany.  In France, a Galette des Rois (“Cake of Kings”) is eaten.  A small figure of baby Jesus is hidden inside the cake, and the person who finds this figure in his or her slice of galette is crowned king for the evening!


The January 6 date of Epiphany is also celebrated as Christmas by many Armenian Orthodox Christians.



Eastern Orthodox Christmas

Many Eastern (or Greek) Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on January 7.  This is due to differences between the Gregorian calendar followed by Western Christians and the Julian calendar traditionally followed by Eastern Christians.  More on the differences between these calendars in next week’s Lions Share, in the section on Orthodox New Year.

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