Feast of the Epiphany
It is a Christian ceremony to celebrate God's revelation to a man. The symbol of this holiday is the story described in the Gospel of Matthew, according to which the Magi from the East came to Bethlehem to worship newborn Jesus.
In Polish tradition, but not only, the Epiphany is commonly called the Three Kings' Day. The Epiphany of the Lord is one of the first holidays instituted by the Church. In early Christianity, this day was celebrated in the East as a Christmas. It was a festival of Epiphany, God's revelation to the whole world. In the Latin Church, this holiday began to be celebrated from the end of the 4th century as a separate ocassion, not joined to the Christmas. Later, the day of the Baptism of the Lord was established on Sunday after January 6, and the memory of the miracle in Cana on the second ordinary Sunday. In this regard, the main content of the feast in the Latin liturgy became the adoration of the Magi from the East, although the other aspects, i.e. the Baptism of Christ and the wedding at Cana, are also repeatedly mentioned in liturgical texts.
But that's not the thing that I wanted to tell you about.
The Feast of the Epiphany, as I mentioned before, is a really important day for Christian. This day closes the Christmas cycle. The event celebrates the day, when the Magi from the East, also called Kings, went to Bethlehem to bow to the newborn Jesus. Led by a Bethlehem star, they brought the precious child precious gifts: myrrh, gold and incense. After more than fifty years of break, from 2011, in Poland, it is again a day when people don't work, just like in many other countries, e.g. in Italy, Spain, Greece, Sweden, Finland, Austria or Switzerland. For centuries, the Epiphany has always been associated with the tradition of displaying nativity play and the so-called herodic performances. First they were known in Italy, then in France. In the Middle Ages it was spread by Franciscans. The legend says that the tradition of displaying nativity play was initiated by Saint. Francis of Assisi. The Procession of the Magi is a direct reference to this old nativity play tradition. At the same time, it brings events from thousands of years ago to the present day - so that this most important story in the history of the world can be told again and again. That is why in the procession traditional threads are combined with the most current ones to show that events from before 2000 years still have significance for modern man.
The procession is led by the Three Kings symbolizing three continents - Europe, Asia and Africa. They are riding on horses or camels, in rich-looking robes and headgear. Their entourage consists of hundreds of children dressed in colorful costumes testifying to belonging to one of the three retinue. They are accompanied by highlander bands, live animals. They are followed by city dwellers in colorful crowns on their heads, singing Christmas carols. At the end, these Kings are bowing to the little Baby Jesus and the Holy Family, and then people sing carols together. The Procession of the Magi was held for the first time in Warsaw in 2009 - on the Sunday preceding the Epiphany. At that time, 5000 people gathered, who together with the participants walked through the streets of the Old Town, watching typical nativity scenes, such as Herod's court or the fight of devils with angels. From the beginning, singing Christmas carols was an important element of the procession. Since that time, the Procession takes place in most of bigger cities in Poland, also in Rzeszow. Each year, thousands of people attend this event. Also this year, such event is planned.
I hope to get there :)