Epiphany is one of the most joyous feast days in the church year, as we celebrate the visit of the Magi and Jesus’ coming as Savior of all people. Because it happens 12 days after Christmas, the celebration can be lost in post-holiday fatigue. However, with a little creative thinking, this holy day can shine. Here are ideas to spark your Epiphany brainstorming session:
1. Twelfth Night dinner – One of the most traditional ways to celebrate Epiphany is to gather for a meal, tell the story of the Magi visiting the Christ-child and give gifts to the children. To bring the story to life, have some church members dress up as the Magi and recount the story of their journey to Bethlehem in first person while walking around and giving small candies or coins to the children.
You might invite children to participate in a tradition from many parts of the world. Have them leave their shoes by the door as they enter — along with some grass for the wise men’s camels. While the children are inside, have someone remove the grass and replace it with wrapped candies. Remind the children to check their shoes for a little surprise.
2. Magi star-gazing night – In honor of these ancient star-gazers, celebrate the season by following in their footsteps. Invite the telescoping community to set up their scopes on the church lawn and look up at the night sky. Many theologians and scientists believe that the star the Magi were tracking was actually the planet Jupiter. You can check this chart to see when it is visible in the night sky. To take this idea to the next level, try inviting a local expert to give an astronomy lecture highlighting upcoming astronomical events.
3. King Cake bake sale – A food traditionally associated with Epiphany is the King Cake (aka galette des Rois, Bolo Rei, Three Kings Cake, Roscón, etc.). Because it is made in so many different ways around the world, you can offer a variety of cake types in the King Cake style. King cakes are round like a bundt cake in order to symbolize a king’s crown. Each King Cake will contain some sort of bean or trinket, sometimes a small plastic baby, to symbolize baby Jesus. Whoever receives the piece with the trinket gets to wear a crown and prepares the cake the next year.
Click here to read more ideas from United Methodist Communications.