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Christian festival celebrated on January 6. One of the oldest Christian holy days (along with Christmas and Easter), the festival originated in the Eastern church and was adopted in the Western church by the 4th century. It commemorates the first manifestation of Jesus to the Gentiles, as represented by the Magi. The eve of Epiphany, called Twelfth Night, is thought to mark the arrival of the Wise Men in Bethlehem. Epiphany also celebrates the (much later) baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and Jesus' first miracle, performed at Cana.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Epiphany, visit Britannica.com.