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Kings Bearing Gifts

The Feast of Epiphany is on 6 January. It marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas and celebrates the visit of the Wise Men to the baby Jesus. These men, often called Kings or Magi, brought valuable gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to honour the Christ Child.

The gift of gold was the gift people usually gave to their King. By giving gold they were recognising Jesus as their King.

The second gift, frankincense, is a white gum from a tree which when hardened will burn giving off a fragrant smell. It was burnt as an offering to God during worship, used as a medicine and a perfume.

The third gift, myrrh, also a gum from thorny tree was used for healing wounds because it is antiseptic, soothes redness and relieves pain.

Epiphany is the day when Christmas decorations are tradionally taken down, but the Crib Scene is often left in place until 2 February .

The day before Epiphany is the twelfth day of Christmas and is sometimes called Twelfth Night.

In the Church calendar the Epiphany season lasts until Shrove Tuesday.
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