Today we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany. Jesus is shown to the Gentiles. In many countries gifts are given on this day because of the gifts the Magi brought to Jesus.
In Ireland when I was growing up there were many names for January 6th Women’s Christmas (NOLLAIG NA MBAN), Little Christmas or Old Christmas.
In some parts of the country there was a custom of taking the woman out for dinner on January 6th in others the women got together for their own chit chat. Again Little Christmas referred to the women getting together to celebrate and leaving the men at home to handle the chores. In 1752 the UK which at that time was made up o England Ireland Scotland and Wales changed from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. The Julian calendar was set in the time of Julius Caesar and was more accurate than previous calendars, but it continued over years to fall out of sync with the ro- tations of the earth around the sun. Pope Gregory reformed it so that it became more accurate and it’s the calendar we still use today. When it was adopted by the UK in 1752 the Julian calendar was already twelve days out of sync with the rest of the western world. There were a number of reforms, March 25 had been New Year’s Day. In 1751 the year began on March 25 but ended on December 31st. 1752 began on Jan1st but in September in order to bring the country into sync with the rest of the world September 2nd was followed by September the 14th. There were riots as people felt they were been robbed of days. Christmas that year came twelve days early and as a result Epiphany came to be known as old Christmas day. Eastern Orthodox Christians still following the Old Julian Calendar continue to celebrate Christmas around January 6th or 7th.
Sometimes we ask questions as to why something takes place on a particular day and maybe that story may answer or confuse someone’s, why. What is im- portant is that we commemorate and celebrate the events of our Savior’s life. When we do that we are celebrating our story, the story of Salvation.
Let us continue to Journey together in Faith.