Thursday, December 26, 2013
Just when you thought you knew everything there is to know about holiday traditions, here is another one worth mentioning: Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, which is celebrated on Jan. 6. This is actually the 12th day of Christmas (counted from Christmas Day) when the season is officially coming to an end.
In many parts of the world this holiday is observed predominantly by Catholic Christians who celebrate the memory of the three wise men who supposedly brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus.
There are many traditions associated with this holiday, some of which I would like to describe to you.
I hail from Germany originally and also lived in the Netherlands and Belgium for many years. In all three countries the Christmas tree stays up through Jan 6 when the family gets together for one last bash, which culminates in a special cake being served with a toy or a bean hidden inside it. No, this is not to get rid of Auntie Ruth through choking, but whoever gets the piece with the bean or toy is king for the day and will be lucky in the coming year. Sometimes that lucky person gets to wear a crown. (I wonder if that is where Burger King got the idea?)
In Germany and German-speaking countries, groups of young children dressed as the three wise men (even though there aren’t always three) will go from door to door and sing songs in exchange for treats and donations to benefit efforts to fight hunger in Africa. They will then perform the so-called house-blessing by marking the year over the door with chalk. This is to bring the inhabitants good luck.
My personal favorite is the tradition that brings together friends and family for long nature walks in the often frozen and snow-covered landscape. To stay warm on these cold outings, people might bring along thermoses with hot mulled wine (Gluehwein) and leftover Christmas cookies for reinforcement. Much fun to be had by everyone.
If you are now curious about other traditions and holidays around the world, you might want to come look at the great display of books on the topic of holiday traditions at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library.
Whatever holiday you celebrate, please embrace and treasure your traditions. Happy Holidays and a great 2014.
Lego Club (ages 4-11)
Saturday, Dec. 28 from 2-3 p.m.
We supply the Legos and you create the masterpiece.
Movie and a “Dog” for Teens (grades 6-12)
Saturday, Dec. 28 at 4 p.m. - “The Lone Ranger.” Rated PG-13, 135 minutes.
Thursday, Jan. 2 at 3 p.m. – “After Earth.” Rated PG-13, 100 minutes.
New Year’s Eve Movie (all ages)
Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 2:30 p.m.
“Monsters University.” Rated G, 104 minutes.
Saturday Storytime (planned for ages 2-6, but all ages welcome)
Saturdays, Jan. 4 and 25 at 11 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 11 and 18 at 1 p.m.
Do-It-Yourself Arts and Crafts (all ages)
Saturday, Jan. 4 from 1:30-3 p.m.
Create an awesome craft with Ms. Grace
Stretching with Dr. Erikka (for all ages)
Monday, Jan. 6 at 10:30 a.m.
Parents and children can join Dr. Erikka Curia, Chiropractor at ChiroLife, for a healthy morning stretching session.
Time for Twos (ages 2-3, with a caregiver)
Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 7, 14, 21, and 28
Mount Pleasant Reel Club (for adults)
Wednesday, Jan. 8 at 2 p.m.
Read the book, come watch the movie with us, and then discuss both book and movie.
Book: “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis
Movie: “The Blind Side.” Rated PG-13, 128 minutes.
If you would like to receive a monthly email with the Mount Pleasant Regional Library’s program calendar, please email MtpReference@ccpl.org. For more information about the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, visit mtplibrary.blogspot.com and ccpl.org.
Brigitte Sidwell is a circulation assistant at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, and 843-849-6161.