Sunday, 5 April 2009

Der Heiligedreikönigstag

Do you know the date of the Epipany? If you know that it is the 6th of January then give yourself a point. You get another point if you know that it celebrates the visit of the Magi or three wise men to the infant Jesus and it follows the twelve days of Christmas. Start counting on Christmas Day, and the twelfth day is January 5th. Twelfth Night is the night between the 5th and the 6th.

The Epiphany in German is the Epiphanias, but it is also known as der Heiligedreikönigstag. What looks like a very daunting word is actually quite simple if you break up this compound word. Holy is heilige. You knowq the word for three. If you didn’t know before I bet you could guess that der König is a king, and you should know the German for day. Now you know what the germans call the Magi. They are kings.

On the 3rd of March I wrote about der Dom in Köln and there is a shrine to the three kings in the cathedral. You will the sarcophagus that is traditionally believed to hold the remains of the three kings. I wonder how they found their way to Germany.

Bis bald

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