Click here for a photo gallery of Epiphany / Three Kings Day Celebrations Around The World - Photos from Cyprus, Bulgaria, Germany, Poland, Turkey, Greece, Iraq, Macedonia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Spain, Israel, Bosnia and Romania:
For Orthodox Christians who use the Julian calendar -- 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar adopted by Catholics and Protestants -- Christmas falls on Jan. 7. However, those celebrations have since been commemorated by many western Christians as "Three Kings Day," or the visitation of the Magi to the infant Jesus.
In Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, the occasion was marked by daring swimming races, while in Romania, celebrations take on an equestrian flair in many rural villages. Meanwhile, to the west, children of all ages donned regal costumes for festive parades in countries like the Czech Republic and Poland.
Click here for a video of last night's Three Kings Parade in Barcelona (Yes, children get presents on December 25th and January 6th!)
Click here for an article from Louisiana, "New "Gift of the Magi" cake is for Carnival season" - with various recipes.
Today is Twelfth Night and the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings Day. In New Orleans and, indeed, most of Louisiana, the locals know that Twelfth Night marks the official ending of the Christmas season and the beginning of the Carnival season. It's Carnival time!
The Twelfth Night Revelers will host its annual society ball this evening and from now until March 8, Mardi Gras, there will be parades, balls, parties and dancing in the streets.
King cakes will be flying off the shelves as everyone prepares for this year's very long Carnival season. I've already bought a couple of king cakes and made a homemade one as well for good measure to serve for a small gathering this evening.