Is Epiphany a Public Holiday?
Epiphany is not a public holiday, merely an observance in Canada, according to Holidays 2023. The celebration falls on 6 January every year. Businesses, stores, and shops operate as usual throughout the day, as do schools and universities. Public Transportation also follow their customary route.
Epiphany Holiday History in Canada
One of the oldest feasts of Christianity, Epiphany has a significant history. It was a celebration since the second century. Early references mention the Basilides, a Gnostic sect, solemnised the day of Christ’s baptism by reading the gospels. The dates cited in Egyptian format coincide with 6 and 10 January. With time, the reasoning behind the celebration grew to include the actual birth (as opposed to his re-birth or manifestation) of the Holy Child. It also included the Magis’ visit, all of Infant Jesus’s childhood, as well the miracle at the marriage in Cana (turning water into wine).
The Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Orthodox churches may differ in their opinions on the primary reason behind it, but the commemoration is essential to all of them. The former two, and Western Christianity collectively celebrate this feast in remembrance of the birth of the Divine Infant and the visit of the three Magi to his nativity. On the other hand, the latter-most, and Eastern Christianity in general, commemorates his manifestation as the Son of God, more commonly known as the baptism of Jesus Christ by John, in the River Jordan.
Public Life on Epiphany in Canada
The Christian population of the country celebrates Epiphany in Canada. The commemoration usually includes taking part in church services, luncheons, songs, blessing and chalking of one’s home, ice swimming, eating Three Kings cake, and so on.
Epiphany Traditions in Canada
One of the main Epiphany holiday traditions includes mumming. The mummers or naluyuk as they are known in Inuit communities, visit each home in their society, beginning as early as Christmas. A combination of the good guy and the bad guy – basically Santa Claus and the Bogeyman, they scare children a little. This custom tells the kids to be well-behaved because that will get them gifts, whereas being bad will get them punished. The naluyuk would ask the young one’s questions about their behaviour throughout the year, and if satisfied, proceed to give them gifts.
2. Blessing Of Home
Another of Epiphany traditions in Canada is the chalking of one’s house to bless it. People would usually write the first two numbers of the year, followed by a cross, the initials C, M, B, each interspersed with a cross, capped with the last two digits of the calendar year. While the crosses, most obviously signify Christ, the letters have several meanings. They can be taken as the names of the Three Wise Men, i.e., Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Another full form of C.M.B. is ’Christus mansionem benedicat’, a Latin blessing meaning “May Christ bless this house.” Another format used is the roman number 3, followed by K to symbolise the three kings or Magi (IIIK). Some localities believe in having the chalk blessed before using it to mark their homes.
3. Cake, Swimming, and Decorations
The Three Kings Cake is another significant Epiphany tradition in Canada. People enjoy this delicacy, which is essentially a french bread or pastry, topped with sugar and filled with beans initially, but now offers various choices. Ice swimming or winter swimming is also enjoyed on this day in many places. Apart from this, many people believe that they should take off their Christmas decorations on this day or the eve of Epiphany. But if someone was to forget this, then the trimmings must be left untouched until the end of Epiphany season, i.e., Candlemas.
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1. What is the difference between Epiphany and Theophany?
The literal meaning of Epiphany is the appearance of a divine being. However, Theophany defines the manifestation of a deity, not merely a superhuman, to a man.
2. How long does the season of Epiphany last?
The Epiphany season, together with the Christmas season lasts forty days. The Christmas season is of twelve days ending with Epiphany, but many consider this to be a part of the Epiphany season which ends with the Feast of the Presentation.
3. What is the last day of Epiphany season?
Candlemas, also known as Feast of the Presentation, which falls on 2 February, marks the end of the Christmas–Epiphany season. It is customary for Christians to remove their Christmas decorations by either the end of Christmas season (Epiphany Eve) or on Candlemas, the conclusion of Epiphany season.
4. What is the colour for Epiphany?
Reformed churches commemorate their feasts through the colour white. This includes not only Epiphany in Canada, but also Christmas season, Epiphany season, Easter season, and so on. On the flip side, periods of preparation and repentance, namely Advent and Lent, are represented by purple.
Tl;dr For those who only wish to know When is Epiphany Day in 2023? The date is 6 January, Friday.
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