Epiphany? What is it? Why do we celebrate it?
On the Twelfth Day …
In England in years past, the Yule log was left burning until Epiphany, and the charcoal left was kept until the next Christmas to kindle next year's Yule log. Epiphany was also a day for playing practical jokes, similar to April Fool's Day. In Finland, star-shaped spice cookies are broken in the palm of one's hand, while making a wish. If the star should break into three pieces and all three are eaten without speaking a word, it is said that the wish will come true. In parts of southern India, Epiphany is celebrated in front of the local church like a fair. Families come together and cook sweet rice porridge called Pongal. Young boys in regal robes and crowns follow a parade route decorated with streamers, palm leaves and balloons with everyone shouting greetings to the Kings, whose families provide a lavish buffet to the community. The expense is undertaken gladly since having son serve as a king is considered a great honor and a blessing on the family.