Sunday, January 9, 2011

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas..


Finally, all the holidays are done. Today was clean up day around here. I need to get ready to really begin the new year in earnest. Out with the old, in with the new, right? I thought how interesting it is to clean up after Christmas with an air of "I've had it" over the sentimentality and anticipation there is while putting out each decoration. Where's the lilting music to go with taking down the tree? Ho Ho Ho.

Now it's done. Besides the new year on January 1we have the feast day of St. Basil, like a holy Santa Claus. Remember I had to bake the sweet bread with the hidden coin? That was his modis opperendi. Then later in the week, we celebrate the Epiphany on January 6, and January 7 is the day of St. John the Baptist, big holidays on the Greek Orthodox calendar. Some say that the wise men visited the newborn Christ on January 6. Others believe this is the true day of His birth. However, in the Greek Orthodox tradition it is the day Christ was baptized and...
"...according to tradition, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist marked one of only two occasions when all three Persons of the Trinity manifested themselves simultaneously to humanity: God the Father by speaking through the clouds, God the Son being baptized in the river, and God the Holy Spirit in the shape of a dove descending from heaven (the other occasion was the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor). Thus the holy day is considered to be a Trinitarian feast." Wikipedia 
We usually attend church services where we are blessed with holy water which we can take to bless our homes. Some communities visit local waters or boating areas where the priest throws a cross into the water for blessings. Usually a bunch of young guys are ready to jump in after the cross to retrieve it and have luck the rest of the year. Cold, wet, but lucky.

St. John the Baptist is known as the Forerunner and is celebrated the next day after the Epiphany because he was the main character at this baptism. He is celebrated other days in the year as significant periods in his life unfolded. Needless to say everyone named with any form of John is remembered and sent well wishes. Variations of the word Epiphany in names are also celebrated as in Fay, Faith, Fotini, and so on. You get the picture? Like I've said, we have a name and a celebration for everything and everyone.

Anyway, now it's really over and I can clean up. Ho Hum.

2 comments:

  1. That's pretty cool. I like how you explain things. I smiled thinking about the young guys jumping in the cold water after the cross. Ahhh to be young again, I'd jump.

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  2. In warmer areas, like in Florida, it's quite the celebration. Doing all the traditional things makes for a busy time, but great to give our kids nice memories.

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