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Our Epiphany tradition

Discussion in 'Traditions & Memories' started by Murphman, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    Several years ago, before we had children, the Mrs. and I visited Old Salem, NC in December and learned of an old European tradition of celebrating Epiphany. A white cake was sliced and distributed to guests at a party and one piece contained a bean or a pea (or both) and whoever got that piece was named the king or queen of the feast. We thought it would be fun to start that at our house with our family as a way to continue celebrating the holiday season. Since Jan 6th was the original day to celebrate Christmas from the old calendar we also decided to let that be the day that the kids get their Christmas presents from us (Santa, grandparents and other family members give them plenty to open on December 25th without our help).

    Every year the feast is a big pot of my wife’s jambalaya. Most years she bakes the white cake but this year we found one at the store a few days ago and decided to save ourselves the trouble since both of us have a busy work week. This year we will be doing the cake only tonight on Epiphany Eve and the winner will wear the paper crown tomorrow night and rule over the feast (meaning she sits at the head of table and dictates when it starts and ends). I usually give a toast to officially say farewell to Christmas and I must say it is rather amusing to watch a couple of little girls hold up their milk glasses. Then they open their presents and we say a prayer acknowledging the wise men’s presents to Jesus and the ultimate gift Jesus gave back to us.

    Sounds a little silly but it has worked well for us on many levels. It keeps the family in the Christmas spirit even though most of world around us have finished the holiday. It allows us to wait until after Christmas to buy some presents getting them on sale. And it gives us an excuse not to spend all our last days off from work and school taking down decorations (we have a ton of them) and instead spending the time together as a family. Decorations come down slowly through the middle of January as we find the time. Our house stays in disarray as that is going on but no big deal to us.

    Just thought I would share.
  2. ILuvChristmas

    ILuvChristmas MMC Emeritus Member MMC Emeritus Member

    I think that it's great that you celebrate Epiphany! My own decorations stay up until then!
    1 person likes this.
  3. Sapsorrow

    Sapsorrow Twinkle Light Checker Merry Forums Member

    We celebrate Epiphany as Twelfth Night, and also say goodbye to the holidays then! For us it's the day that we put Christmas things away (if they were ever out). We get a king cake, same as the cake they eat at Mardi Gras, and we have the same custom with the bean. Mostly it's a relaxed night for us, we make a "feast" of all the Christmas season leftovers that haven't been finished off yet, then out comes the cake and hot chocolate while we put everything away from the holidays. We usually burn our greens and tree, so there's a nice fire, too. Then we're looking ahead to Candlemas, aka Groundhog Day, to see when spring will arrive!
    Murphman and snowflake22 like this.
  4. olympicfan

    olympicfan Chestnut Roaster Merry Forums Member

    very cool!... we've never really done anything for epiphany at my house
    1 person likes this.
  5. ILuvChristmas

    ILuvChristmas MMC Emeritus Member MMC Emeritus Member

    I wish we'd go back to celebrating Christmas after Thanksgiving and having it last until Jan.6th instead of all the hurrying up and decorating before Thanksgiving( or even in October for some) and then rushing to put it all away before the New Year arrives. What happen to Christmastide?
    Murphman and snowflake22 like this.
  6. caninemom3

    caninemom3 MMC Christmas Angel (1954 - 2013) MMC Lifer MMC Emeritus Member

    I think it is such a wonderful tradition to have and celebrate Epiphany. Anything that helps families to be together in the celebration of the Lord is indeed wonderful and celebrating His birth is the most joyous of things to me. My Christmas "stuff" will stay up just a bit longer, having trouble letting it go.
    1 person likes this.
  7. made582

    made582 MMC's Ambassador to the North Pole MMC Lifer Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award Kringle Radio DJ

    It sounds like a great tradition and a fun time.
    1 person likes this.
  8. Christmas-A-Holic

    Christmas-A-Holic MMC Goodwill Ambassador MMC Lifer MMC Donor Santa's Elf Christmas Crew

    Sounds like wonderful memories and fun! Thanks for sharing!
    1 person likes this.
  9. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    Well, it was nice and laid back. My wife was the queen of the feast and we all served her dinner. The girls loved seeing presents back under the tree and tore into them as soon as the green light was given.
    Holiday and snowflake22 like this.
  10. judesmama

    judesmama ...and Noel's mama, too! MMC Lifer Christmas Crew

    How nice! Thank you for sharing!
    1 person likes this.
  11. sugarplum fairy

    sugarplum fairy MMC Emeritus Member MMC Emeritus Member

    That is such a nice tradition. I might try to do something like this next year. Thanks for sharing.
    1 person likes this.
  12. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    This year we chose to celebrate last night on Epiphany eve rather than today since Tuesday is the busiest work day of the week for the Mrs. and I. My wife decided to use 3 beans and helped direct our girls to pick the pieces of cake that contained them. That way no child would be left out. After the meal and presents I made a toast to the end of Christmastide and new year of good health. The candles in the windows and all the outside decorations were unplugged. Tonight I will finish off the season by re-reading all our Christmas cards and letters and begin the process of packing up decorations.
    Holiday, made582 and snowflake22 like this.
  13. SnowflakeMom

    SnowflakeMom Dang Near Santa Himself MMC Lifer

    What a wonderful tradition!! Thanks for sharing...

    My decorations are still up as well. I will start to take them down this weekend.
    2 people like this.
  14. Noel_Joyeux

    Noel_Joyeux Tinsel Straightener Merry Forums Member

    Hi !
    In France we celebrate Epiphany for sure. The tradition says that the Epiphany day is on the 6th of January, but almost every familiy all around the country celebrates it on the first Sunday after the 1st of January. Well... in fact we celebrate the Epiphany throughout the month of January ! :)
    Depending on the region, there are two kinds of cakes : the "brioche des rois" and the "galette des rois". When I was a little girl, in the center-east of the country, we ate only the "brioche". But nowadays, we eat both !

    The "brioche" is a leavened dough cake, round with a big hole in the middle. It's quite good.

    The galette is very different, it's made with puff pastry, almond, sugar and butter and I like this very much (so yummy !). It's not so difficult to cook so I make several galettes each year :


    It's excellent with apple cider.
    And here is my recipe (if you can read french) :
    Murphman, irishsnow and snowflake22 like this.
  15. snowflake22

    snowflake22 *Harlowe's Mom* MMC Lifer Louann Jeffries Award

    Thank you so much for sharing! ❤️
    Murphman and Noel_Joyeux like this.
  16. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    Wow has it really been 8 years since I started this thread? We are still keeping up this small tradition and this year we upped it a notch. Saturday we had a few friends over to celebrate with us and they brought extra food so we had a true feast. My youngest daughter set up a "tea party" in her room with a place for all of us to sit so we had our dessert in there and exchanged presents. I said a prayer to bless the house and all who are in it for the new year. My wife's batch of jambalaya was top notch since we used some fresh made sausage that a local farmer gave us for the holidays.
    All the decorations came down yesterday and the tree is on the curb for the city to pick up. All of the live greenery, holly and mistletoe was removed and stuffed into our kindling can outside to use as fire starter. My wife commented last night how plain and dull the house looks. Next November can't get here fast enough.
    snowflake22 and SnowflakeMom like this.
  17. SnowflakeMom

    SnowflakeMom Dang Near Santa Himself MMC Lifer

    That sounds like a great evening and perfect way to celebrate!

    My decorations are coming down this weekend.
    Murphman likes this.
  18. RadioJonD

    RadioJonD ♪♫Mistletoe Mix-ologist♫♪ MMC Lifer Alum Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Christmas Talk Alum Kringle Radio DJ

  19. Contented

    Contented Sugar Cookie Tester MMC Lifer Christmas Talk Alum

    Sounds wonderful! Thank you all for sharing.My decorations are all still up.But I'm planning on starting tomorrow taking them down.Its always alittle sad for me when everything is packed up and put up.
    Murphman likes this.
  20. Murphman

    Murphman Santa Beagle MMC Lifer

    We decided to celebrate tonight on Epiphany Eve since school starts back tomorrow. It only took us an hour to do it all since two of my kids are teens and would rather be enjoying their presents and music in their rooms rather than hanging out with mom and dad (plus they know they'll have to help take down decorations if they stick around). Yours truly found the bean so I wore the paper crown tonight. Chicken pot pie was on the menu and in addition to the kids getting presents I bought another Echo Dot for the kitchen so the wife can listen to her favorite music. We decided to leave up the outside decorations until next weekend which will make us one of only two on my street to still have them turned on. Happy Epiphany everyone!

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