For Many Christians, Christmas Season Just Beginning

January 4, 2010

The Salt Lake Tribune writes:

Christmas is not just a day, according to the Christian tradition, it’s a season — and it’s not over yet.

Contrary to the commercial notion that the Christmas season begins on Black Friday, Christians consider the weeks leading up to Christmas to be the advent season and Dec. 25 to be the start of the Christmas season, known as the 12 Holy Days of Christmas among Eastern Christians.

The season ends with the Feast of the Epiphany on Wednesday. In Eastern orthodoxy, it’s typically called the Feast of the Theophany and is celebrated either Jan. 6 or Jan. 19, depending on the calendar used in a particular Eastern church.

Celebrated by Christians since the early centuries of the church, the feast “starts the season of the Epiphany, which is the showing forth of Jesus,” says the Rev. W. Lee Shaw, pastor of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in West Valley City. “Epiphany is one of those seasons that many people just don’t know about. It’s a quiet season.”

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