Sunday, January 8, 2012

The 3 Magi and what they brought us

A mexican "nacimiento" in the kiosk in San Miguel de Allende
Oh dear readers, please let me apologize. This post should have been up on Friday. But life got in the way, and I was so tired that I did not have the time to prepare it properly for you. Luckily the weekend is here. As you probably know, last Friday, January 6, many countries celebrated the last holiday associated with Christmas, Epiphany. Or, the day when the three wise men from the East came to honor baby Jesus. It is a day that is always full of magic, children expect it with butterflies in their stomach. Head over to Zarawitta's post for a moment to get a glimpse of how this day is celebrated in Mexico. It is all about balloons, and looking at the sky, searching for the three stars that indicate that the three kings were approaching. (Such stars are actually  the tail of Ursa Mayor, the bear constellation).
Ursa Mayor in Kahului, Hawaii (from here)
And it is about waiting and hoping that early in the morning there would be some presents laying by your shoe. The Gospel of Matthew 2:112 is the only one that describes the visit of the Magi. It is interesting to note that unlike the popular tradition that states that Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar were of European, Asian, and African origin respectively, the earliest translations of the gospel probably indicate that they actually came from the Persian empire, nowadays Iran: 

The word magi is the plural of Latin magus, borrowed from Greek  μάγος magos,as used in the original Greek text of the Gospel of Matthew. Greek magos itself is derived from Old Persian maguŝ from the Avestan magâunô, i.e. the religious caste into which Zoroaster was born, (see Yasna 33.7: "ýâ sruyê parê magâunô " = so I can be heard beyond Magi). The term refers to the priestly caste of Zoroastrianism. As part of their religion, these priests paid particular attention to the stars, and gained an international reputation for astrology, which was at that time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use of astrology caused derivatives of the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general and led to the English term magic. (1)

 Anyway, as I grew up and understood more about the actual meaning of this holiday it became one of my favorites. Because epiphany, from the ancient Greek, means revelation or vision of God (2). And the main message is that Jesus  came to the World for all mankind. That no matter what your beliefs are, He is still there for you, no matter who you are or where you come from. And that is a feeling I always had. If you set yourself to analyse religions, and philosophies you will reach the conclusion that we have more in common than what we think. That is why I have never understood wars in His name, on His behalf.
This year I the three kings left us 2 bars of dark chocolate, some butter in the fridge and a book that I have been wanting to read (coincidentally on the same day that I finished the book I was busy with). What happened to the chocolate and the butter, I will let you know tomorrow. 

(1) from here and (2) from here 


  1. I always love reading your writing. It's like I learn something every time. . and like a child I want to know what you were making?!

  2. @ Hanna , thanks :) So glad you like it. We made a dessert called "darioles au chocolat", will post the recipe soon.

  3. Reyes nunca fue una celebración especial para mí. Quizas porque las fiestas, cuando yo era chica, no eran momentos felices, entonces las que quiero hoy por hoy son las que he reinventado ya de grande, o las que he incorporado a mi propio calendario personal.Quizas tambien se deba a que no soy cristiana (sí de origen, pero no actualmente), entonces la idea de epifanía tampoco me dice nada...

    Dicho esto, qué bueno que te hayan traido regalitos, espero con ansias la receta :)

  4. I love what you wrote: "Jesus came to the World for all mankind (...) no matter what your beliefs are (...) If you set yourself to analyse religions, and philosophies you will reach the conclusion that we have more in common than what we think."

    This just sums it all. I wish we could learn to respect each other in our differences like Jesus did. We may pray differently, call him/it different names... but in the end we want the same and trust the same. An higher force that shows us the right path.

  5. @ Marcela, si entiendo...y lo siento. Lo bueno es que ahora puedes reinventar las fiestas. Pero para mi, la epifania al menos en mi interpretacion libre quiere decir justamente eso, que aunque tu no te identifiques con el cristianismo, Dios es el mismo para todos (y por Dios me refiero a lo superior, no a alguna concepcion especifica en plan el viejito que vive en las nubes o cualquier otra). Aunque creo que eso ya fue una interpretacion muy mia...

    @ Ines, yeah, I really wish we could. And yeah, different names, but it has to be the same Entity, higher force...


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