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Poland celebrates Feast of Epiphany

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 06.01.2012 10:10
Today marks the Feast of Epiphany, one of the oldest and most important celebrations in the Roman Catholic Church and a national holiday in Poland.

The Magi procession, where the roles of the Three Kings are played by actors, pass from Wawel Hill in Krakow to St. Mary's Basilica. Photo - PAP / Jacek Bednarczyk

The day commemorates the arrival of the Three Wise Men in Bethlehem to pay tribute to Jesus, twelve days after his birth. In many countries, including Poland, the Feast of Epiphany is known as Three Kings’ Day.

This year, for the second time since 1960, the Feast of Epiphany is a national holiday in Poland.

In Warsaw and 25 other towns Epiphany processions are planned, with live animals and groups of children dressed in three colours, red symbolizing Europe, green for Asia and blue for Africa.

The Warsaw procession, which starts at noon, will be led by Kazimierz Cardinal Nycz along the Royal Route from Castle Square to the Pilsudski Square.
Epiphany is celebrated with a wide array of customs.

Most Polish Catholics bring the blessed piece of chalk from the church and use it to inscribe the date – 2012 – and the letters C, B and M above the front door of the house.

They stand for the names of the Three Magi: Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar, and also abbreviate the Latin phrase ‘Christus mansionem benedicat’ - ‘May Christ bless the house’. (mk/pg)

tags: Epiphany
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