Twelfth Night, Epiphany, Three Kings' Day, Little Christmas: call it what you will, January 6th marks the official end of the twelve days of Christmas. On this day it is said that the Three Kings (Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar) found the child Jesus after following a bright star from the East, and gave him their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

 

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In Italy and Spain it is traditional for children to leave a shoe outside on Epiphany eve, ready to be filled with gifts. They leave food for the camels in the same way that a carrot may be left for Santa's donkey. In some cities a boat arrives in the harbour bearing three 'kings' who then parade through the streets as a central part of the celebrations.

 

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At Alder Bridge, in Kindergarten, the old Russian folktale of Babushka is a traditional part of our own celebrations. While in the school we celebrated on the first day of term with French Galette Des Rois, and one child in each class became King for the day when they found the treasure in the cake. A story was told about the journey of the Three Kings from the perspective of the camels, and about the gifts the camels gave the baby. The day was full of related crafts with children making stars, beeswax camels and beautiful paper puppet theatres.

Celebrating Epiphany is a lovely way to continue the Christmas mood into the new term... 

 

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