For many of us, the holiday season ends with what Christians call Epiphany, or 3 Kings Day. Today is the day we remember the journey of the Magi (the plural form of magus- a member of a priestly hierarchy of ancient Persia). It is also the 12th day of Christmas. In the gospel of Matthew, the Wise Men (also called the 3 Kings, however they were not actual kings in the way we define kings today) follow the brightest star to find the baby Jesus after his birth. Melchior, Caspar,and Balthazar bring Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
NOTE: The popular Christmas Carol, The 12 days of Christmas is not related to THIS 12th day of Christmas, three Kings Day. But is in line for its own future post and curriculum!
Today you can learn about the 3 kings with books and activities:
Make crowns with this easy to use TEMPLATE:
(Print onto colored cardstock if desired. Cut along the “mountain peaks” and staple or tape together to fit the circumference of your learner’s head. Decorate with paint, stickers, self adhesive gems, feathers, craft poms, etc.)
Frankincense and Myrrh are essential oils available today. Do you have them, or know someone who does ? Let your learner smell and feel them. Learn about these oils and their uses today. See why they were considered great gifts! My links are for informational purposes only, These This products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Gold was the third gift brought by the Wise Men. Gold has always been a valuable item. Today we use it for jewelry and it is considered the best filling when you have a cavity!
These gifts were symbolic gifts. The gold was given because Jesus was believed to be the King of the Jews. Frankincense was for His divine nature. Lastly, Myrrh was a perfume used to embalm dead bodies. This gift foretold Jesus’ eventual suffering and death.
In some countries children leave their shoes by the door so the 3 Kings can leave them a gift. (What a wonderful tradition! If you don’t already do this, consider beginning)
If you are looking for a more detailed activity perhaps you would like my 3 Kings Mobile available in my TeachersPayTeachers Store.
The mobile comes in an easy to use color set you can print and assemble as well as a black and white version for you to print and color yourself. You can also use the black and white file as a template and trace the patterns onto patterned scrapbook paper. (I mean your learner – I have to admit I’m totally into this activity myself!)
Here is a short video showing one strand of the Mobile hanging outside. This lets you see the double sided nature of the print and cut version.
Another cultural 3 Kings day tradition is Three Kings Day Bread. It is called: Rosca de reyes or Ring of the Kings. A figurine of the baby Jesus is sometimes hidden in the bread to represent the flight of the Holy Family. Whoever finds the baby Jesus figurine is blessed and must take the figurine to the nearest church on February 2 (Candlemas Day)
Visit your local bakery for your own Ring of Kings or improvise by making cupcakes and hiding a baby inside one.
I hope to see you next time for another fun Homeschool Holiday to explore- because there is always something to learn!
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