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 Twelfth Night

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Number of posts : 4171
Age : 60
Location : Texas
Registration date : 2008-10-24

PostSubject: Twelfth Night   Thu Nov 06, 2008 3:28 pm



Twelfth Night

If you didn't let off some steam on New Year's Eve, don't despair. Soon it will be the Twelfth Night. This important Church Feast Day {January 6th} is also known as Epiphany, Old Christmas, Little Christmas, or the Day of the Three Kings.

It commemorates the manifestation of the Christ to the Magi. In many cultures this is the day gifts are exchanged and parties are held. Some of the most enjoyable come from England.

Shakespeare's great play "Twelfth Night" was written for use as entertainment on this holiday, a time of revelry. The Christmas season Officially ended. as decorations were taken down to be burned. Parties included weird disguises and games.

The "Twelfth Cake" { related to the French and Belgian "La Galette des Rois" -  the "Cake of the Kings" } included one bean. The person whose slice contained it became "King of the Bean," a lucky person, who was treated like a king all day long.

Twelfth Night was a time for game-playing, pantomimes, and showmanship. Some of the elaborately-costumed attendants of the King of the Bean were named Patrick O'Tater, Monsieur Francois Parlez-Vous, or Farmer Mangelwurzel. Plays were performed, often including historical characters.

A seemingly strange custom of this time was the "Blessing of the Water," observed by members of the Greek Church. Impressive ceremonies honor water in many unusual ways. In Piraeus, for example, the Bishop leads a procession to the harbor, throws a little wooden cross held by a blue ribbon into the sea, withdraws it, and then sprinkles the bystanders.


Start your Own Twelfth Night Traditions


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