The 12th day of Christmas is celebrated on January 6th and the holidays are already just a memory. The decorations have been packed away, the holiday stitching finished up and already it is time to start exciting new canvases with fun threads and great ideas.
January 6th is also the Feast of the Epiphany, when the Three Wise Men finally completed their trip to see baby Jesus and deliver their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Many people think of the 12 days of Christmas leading up to the holidays, but it is really the 12 days after Christmas! Growing up, we usually took down our decorations on this day, but today my house has long been undecorated!
As I decked the halls this year, I realized that I have no nativity, no creche’ set, no manger, none of that, wether it be a stitched set or something special that was purchased. I really would like to stitch a set for myself, one of these days!
In Italy, on the eve of Januray 6th or the night of January 5th, it would be the day of La Befana, a lovable good witch who brings presents for all the boys and girls.
When Christ was born, The Three kings passed the house of La Befana on the way to Bethelehem to see the Christ child. They invite her to take the journey with them to find the Christ Child. She says she is too busy. Sweeping Constantly.
She goes to sleep and the Christmas star wakes her up. She changes her mind and wishes she went with them.
She goes to find the three kings and angels come and help her fly. She brings her baked gifts to all the good children and looks for the three wise men. To the bad children she brings coal and ashes. Now every year in Italy the good children wait for La Befana, their version of Santa Claus.
Now in New Orleans as they ready for Mardi Gras, it is King Cake that is plentiful during this day. A little treasure is tucked inside and if you are lucky enough to find it, it allows you certain privileges and obligations.
In Mexico it is Dia de Reyes or Day of Kings. When I worked in the restaurant the guys would bring in Rosca de Reyes or King Cake. A sweet bread braided and loaded with fruits and if you were the lucky one to get the little baby hidden in the cake…well you were lucky enough to host the party! As the host or hostess, you are the one to bring the tamales to the party traditionally held February 2nd which is Dia de la Candelaria. This is the day that candles are brought to the church to be blessed. February 2nd is also the midway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox and if you are anxiously awaiting the arrival of spring and spring training as I am…you know that it is only a few short weeks till pitchers and catchers report! I still need to make the trip east for my first experience with Spring Training. One of these years!
Is this how you feel about New Years resolutions?
AlleyCat is still not letting me out of her sight! She is keeping her eye on me as I am taking care of my plants. Shhh don’t tell her that I will be leaving her again in a few days! Market is just around the corner…and too close to the holidays.