Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, which commemorates the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child. It was an important day in the Tudor calendar, and it brought the feasting and celebrations of the Twelve Days of Christmas to a close. It’s still an important day in many countries today.
Find out more about Epiphany and how it was celebrated at the Tudor court, and how it is celebrated today, with these resources:
Happy Epiphany! Happy Kings’ Day! Yes, today is the Feast of the Epiphany, the day that commemorated the visit of the Magi to the Christ Child.
Following on from yesterday’s Teasel’s Tudor Trivia about Epiphany Eve and Twelfth Night Cake, I thought I’d share with you some examples of how Epiphany was celebrated at the royal court. Find out what those Tudor people got up to on Twelfth Night in today’s talk.
Details of Henry VII's 1494 pageant from Welsford, Enid (2015) The Court Masque: A Study in the Relationship between Poetry and the Revels, p.120.
Details of Edward VI's entertainments can be found in Feuillerat, A ed. Documents relating to the revels at court in the time of King Edward VI and Queen Mary (the Loseley manuscripts) edited with notes and indexes, A. Uystpruyst, 1914, p.92-94, 278.
I’ve noticed lots of comments from people on social media saying how they’ve taken down their Christmas trees and decorations and got back to normal. For many people around the world today, the Christmas period was over with New Year, but Christmas in the Tudor period ran for twelve days, Christmas Day to Epiphany on 6th January, the feast day which was a commemoration and celebration of the visit of the Magi to the Christ child.
Twelfth Night and Epiphany were marked with feasting and entertainment. But when exactly is “Twelfth Night”? Is it 5th or 6th January? There isn’t really any agreement over this and an article in The Guardian newspaper examined this question: