Many Christians around the world annually celebrate Epiphany on January 6. It is a public holiday in many countries and marks two events in Jesus Christ’s life, according to the Christian Bible. The first event was when the three wise men, or kings, visited infant Jesus. The second event was when St John the Baptist baptized Jesus.
Epiphany in Cyprus
Ephiphany, "Ta Fota" or "Theofania" in Greek, on the 6th January commemorates Christ's Baptism and is another important Greek national and church holiday. The Blessing of the Waters is symbolised by the throwing of a cross into the sea by a priest, while swimmers brave the chilly waters to retrieve it. The Greek Epiphany allows for cleansing of the goblins also known as Kallikantzaroi, these goblin's pop up between Christmas and January 6th wrecking havoc. Legend says the mythical goblin-like spirits live in the bowels of the earth, creeping out at the twelve days of Christmas to be mischievous. The only cure for all this is on the eve of Epiphany waters blessed by the village priest is sprinkled throughout the house. This usually keeps the evil spirits at bay for another year. Men also show their valour by diving into the seas or rivers to retrieve a cross, which has been blessed by an Orthodox priest. Then diving into the freezing waters the men swim and dive to be the one to get the cross, he who gets the cross is said to be blessed with health and good luck.
In Christianity, the Epiphany refers to the realization that Christ is the son of God. Western churches generally celebrate the Adoration of the Magi as the Incarnation of the infant Christ, and commemorate Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. Traditionally, Eastern churches celebrated Epiphany (or Theophany) in conjunction with Christ's baptism by John the Baptist and celebrated it on January 19; however, many have begun to adopt the Western custom of celebrating it on January 6, the twelfth day of Christmas. Protestant churches often celebrate Epiphany as a season, extending from the last day of Christmas until Ash Wednesday.
The Adoration of the Magi is the name traditionally given to the Christian subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worship him. In the church calendar, this event is commemorated in Western Christianity as the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6). The Orthodox Church commemorates the Adoration of the Magi on the Feast of the Nativity (December 25). Christian iconography has considerably expanded the bare account of the Biblical Magi given in the second chapter of the Gospel of Matthew (2:1-11) and used it to press the point that Jesus was recognized, from his earliest infancy, as king of the earth.