Wednesday 6 January 2010


Today is the Feast of Epiphany, from the Greek word ἐπιφάνεια, meaning "appearance" or "manifestation".

The observance of Epiphany had its origins in the Eastern Christian Churches, and was a general celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ but, in particular, marked the visit to Bethlehem of the Magi or "Wise Men" whom we later transmogrified into the Three Kings of the ever-popular carol and a million Christmas card designs.

Epiphany Poem

The red king
Came to a great water. He said,
Here the journey ends.
No keel or skipper on this shore.

The yellow king
Halted under a hill. He said,
Turn the camels round.
Beyond, ice summits only.

The black king
Knocked on a city gate. He said,
All roads stop here.
These are gravestones, no inn.

The three kings
Met under a dry star.
There, at midnight,
The star began its singing.

The three kings
Suffered salt, snow, skulls.
They suffered the silence
Before the first word.

- George Mackay Brown Epiphany Poem

And don't forget, today's the day - if you haven't already done it - when you really must take down those Christmas Trees!


You'll find more windows (this one belongs to Il Papiro in Calle del Piovan, San Marco, Venice) on my blog, Window Gazing

Images: Magi by Richard Hook from the Look & Learn Picture Gallery; Christmas window by Brian Sibley © 2009


Suzanne said...

The thing about Christmas decorations is that there's always one that gets away! I've had a good look around my place, but there's bound to be something I've overlooked!
Keep warm!
My word check today is impossible to comment on AND stay polite!

Sheila said...

Looking at the title of today's Blog makes me think you, David and Buttons must have said exactly that with a sigh of relief when you saw your front door last night!

Happy Epiphanytide! It lasts for three weeks - first the arrival of the Magi, then this coming Sunday we celebrate the Baptism of Christ and next Sunday the miracle at the wedding in Cana. All three events mark the revelation of who Jesus was. (Here endeth the lesson!)

David Weeks said...

Epiphany puts me in mind of T.S.Elliot "A cold coming we had of it, just the worst time of year for a journey and such a journey too . . ."
Well we had journeys that were only just achieved there and back, with so many flights cancelled on the going and the airport closed as we returned - skin of our teeth stuff!
Now of course we have the cold, cold, cold . . .

SPEDISTI: Italian for really getting a move on!

Brian Sibley said...

SHEILA - THREE WEEKS?? That's longer than Christmas! Why isn't it an official holiday? ;-)

DAVID WEEKS - You're right! A cold coming (and going) we had of it. Today, however, the sun is trying to shine and my fingers aren't quite as blue as I sit here typing this, so maybe the fridge we call a flat has warmed up a few degrees from yesterday's arctic chill!

Brian Sibley said...

DAVID - PS: I loved the definition for SPEDISTI: I can hear all those fur-coated matrons and Loden-coated old men muttering it now at every vaporetti stop along the length of the Grand Canal!

Brian Sibley said...

SUZANNE - Like those elusive decorations, I missed posting your comment!

Anonymous said...

We still haven't taken down our tree. Just as well we're not superstitious.

Where did you find that delightful picture of the kings? They look like stylish playing cards.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find that marvellous picture of the three kings? They look like stylish playing cards - and I mean that in a good way.

Our tree is stil up, BTW. We plan to take it down at the weekend. Simply haven't had time.

Brian Sibley said...

Hello, QENNY, nice to have you drop by after too long an absence! And two messages for the price of one! Excellent!

I agree about the picture - stumbled across it on the Look & Learn Picture Gallery (Look & Learn was a mag I grew up with as a kid) and found that I could buy it -- and, surprisingly, afford it!!

Really hope that The Curse of the Left-Up Xmas Tree doesn't get you! Those baubles can be painful and five-pointed stars are pure agony!