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Epiphany, Recalling the Wise Men's Visit and Jesus' Baptism - January 6

  • 2013 1 Jan
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 Epiphany, Recalling the Wise Men's Visit and Jesus' Baptism - January 6

In 567 AD, the Council of Tours ended a dispute. Western Europe celebrated Christmas, December 25, and Eastern Europe celebrated Epiphany, JANUARY 6, recalling the Wise Men's visit and Jesus' baptism. The Council of Tours made all 12 days from December 25 to January 6 "holy days" or "holidays," thus "The Twelve Days of Christmas." The song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas," is thought to have been inspired by a 1625 song "In Those Twelve Days," which assigned a spiritual meanings to each day: "What are they that are but one? We have one God alone...What are they which are by two? Two testaments, Old and New...What are they which are but three? Three persons in the Trinity...What are they which are but four? Four sweet Evangelists there are...What are they which are but five? Five senses...What are they which are but six? Six days to labor...What are they which are but seven? Seven liberal arts hath God sent down...What are they which are but eight? Eight Beatitudes...What are they which are but nine? Nine Muses...with sacred tunes...What are they which are but ten? Ten statutes God to Moses gave...What are they which are but eleven? Eleven thousand virgins...suffered death for Jesus' sake. What are they which are but twelve? Twelve attending on God's son."