The 12th Day of Christmas is the feast of the Three Kings

Three Kings Day is celebrated by Christian religions on January 6th. It is also known as the 12th day of Christmas – you know from the popular Christmas song : The 12 days of Christmas.

The link between A song and Three Kings Day

As a tangent to the topic of this particular blog post, Three Kings Day, I feel I must give you some background on the 12 Days of Christmas. Isn’t that what happens with true learning? One thing leads to another…

The exact origins and the meaning of the song, The 12 Days of Christmas, are unknown, but it is thought to have originated from a children’s memory and forfeit game. Children played going round after round and when they made a mistake they had to give something up, like a candy, as their forfeit. There are many theories about the MEANING of the song, but I’ll leave that for another day!

The twelve days in the song are the twelve days starting with the day after Christmas, also known as Boxing Day or St. Stephen’s Day. They end on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany, Three Kings Day. On the Feast of the Epiphany, it is said the Magi, or the wise men arrived to visit the baby Jesus. Therefore we consider the 12th day of Christmas Three Kings Day!

What historians can tell us about the Three Kings

There are many traditions surrounding these legendary visitors. Historians have studied their visit and tried to give us as much information as possible.

The bible doesn’t tell us much; only that the Christ Child was visited by wise men from the east. In biblical times wise men of that nature were often called Magi and were known for being astronomers, because they studied the stars.

Legends go on to give the 3 Kings names, and the places they came from as well as the gifts they brought Jesus. Caspar (also known as Gaspar) is said to have come from India and brought Frankincense, a valuable perfume with him. Melchior brings the Gold and is said to come from Persia (modern day Iran – Iraq). Balthazar travels from Arabia (now known as Saudi Arabia) bringing the holy oil associated with anointing, Myrrh.

Often the Three Kings are depicted traveling together, and all on camels…but really? At some point it is tradition they met and traveled together, following the bright star in the sky. Do you ever wonder if indeed they all DID use camels coming form such different countries? That’s what much artwork and movie depictions show. Historians each have a different view of exactly WHICH country WHICH king came from… and it’s had to know thousands of years later.

Homeschool Holiday has a unique perspective based on where we believe the Kings to have traveled from. (in conjunction with a few historians that is!) It seems logical the Kings would have used animals native to their countries of origin; Caspar an elephant, Melchior the camel and Balthazar a horse. Our Epiphany / 3 Kings day History and Craftivity reflects this viewpoint, making it unique curriculum indeed!

Celebrating Three Kings Day

It is tradition to leave your Christmas decorations up until the Feast of Epiphany. In our home we ADD to our decorations. Using the craftivity in the Three Kings Day History and Craftivity activity as well as the BONUS crown craft we recognize the important role the Magi play in the nativity.

Click the picture to purchase your copy of this unique ready to go curriculum today.

The Three Kings day learning resource contains:

  • An Informational Text page/ handout describing history of Three Kings Day
    • History of 3 Kings Day in presentation form
    • printable 1 page mini book of same/similar history information
  • Color and color your own 3 kings and their unique animals craftivity files
  • BONUS 3 kings day crown template

Many celebrations of epiphany include a kings cake. Why not arrange to make or purchase one from your local bakery? On the feast of the Three Kings hold a small family party, or gather some friends. You can decorate the crowns available in our Homeschool Holiday 3 Kings Day History and Craftivity, then enjoy The kings cake!

Don’t forget, hidden inside the cake there is a baby Jesus and if your slice of the cake contains the baby, you get to host the celebration next year!

Free Printables also Available!

If you don’t want to go all out you can download our ORIGINAL 3 Kings Day mobile craft, now available as a FREE DOWNLOAD on your favorite teacher marketplace as well as in the Happy Hive Curriculum Club.

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