Friday, January 6, 2012

Epiphany on Epiphany - Venice 2012


(Venice, Italy) If the New Year continues in the same chord as it started, we are off to a great start, surrounded by harmony, stimulating conversation, fantastic food, new knowledge and people with character and integrity.

Today is Epiphany here in Italy. It is the last day of the Christmas season holidays. It is also the day of the Befana, which I have written about many times before. From Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog January 7, 2009:

(Venice, Italy) The Epiphany, or the Twelfth Day of Christmas, on January 6th is a national holiday in Italy. It is also the day of the La Befana, a witch who hands out candy and gifts for good children, and coal for bad children, similar to Santa Claus.

In Venice, the holiday has morphed into something truly unique. During the Regata delle Befane, male Venetian rowers dress in drag as female witches, and have a little regata, or race. The finish line is below my apartment, so I usually have a Befana party to close the holiday season. No one ever seems to know, exactly, what time the race starts or finishes. Some posters from the Comune said to go over to the fish market at 11:30AM for hot mulled wine and sweets, so I thought 11AM would be a good time for the party. It turned out it was too late. Note to self: the Befana regata celebration starts at 10AM!

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Back here in the present, January 6, 2012, I am happy to report that I have had an epiphany on Epiphany. From Wikipedia:

The term is used in either a philosophical or literal sense to signify that the claimant has "found the last piece of the puzzle and now sees the whole picture," or has new information or experience, often insignificant by itself, that illuminates a deeper or numinous foundational frame of reference

Process

Despite its popular image, epiphany is the result of significant labor on the part of the discoverer, and is only the satisfying result of a long process, usually involving significant periods of labor.[7] The surprising and fulfilling feeling of epiphany is so surprising because one cannot predict when one's labor will bear fruit, and our subconsciousness can play a significant part in delivering the solution; and is fulfilling because it is a reward for a long period of labor.

To that I can attest: having an epiphany is the result of significant labor

The Christian feast, the Epiphany that we are celebrating today in Italy is when the three Wise Men arrived at the manger to see the baby Jesus. 

In the conventional version of the Christmas story, 
the wise men or magi:
  • Gaspar,
  • Melchior and
  • Balthasar
started the gift-giving custom of Christmas by 
bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ  
child on Epiphany, the day on which the infant 
was presented. The 3 magi have been described not only as wise men, but also as kings 
or Persian priests and astrologers.
Epiphany is the end of the Christmas season, 12 days after Christmas, which is, literally, 
the mass for Christ.
Happy Epiphany!
Ciao from Venice,
Cat

4 comments:

  1. I don't comment often but had to share this on FB today. Mille grazie!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Cat, I don't often leave comments but had today and shared on FB. Mille Grazie!

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Despite its popular image, epiphany is the result of significant labor on the part of the discoverer, and is only the satisfying result of a long process, usually involving significant periods of labor."

    ReplyDelete