The Feast of the Epiphany Has Again Become a Popular Holiday in Poland
The feast of the Epiphany became a holiday again in Poland seven years ago, and its popularity has done nothing but grow since. This year, civil authorities once again counted 1.2 million participants in 660 cities.
For over 50 years, January 6 was just like any other day in Poland. Beginning in 1960, under the Communist regime, the people had to work on this great Christian feast day. But since 2011, things have changed, and the Polish have rediscovered with pomp and splendor the meaning of the Magi’s visit to the Child Jesus.
Crowds flock to Mass which has once again been made obligatory. They traditionally buy incense and chalk. The incense is burned in each home and the chalk is used to write the initials of the three kings, Kaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar (KMB) on the door of one’s home. “This little exterior sign shows people who pass in front of the house that there are Christians living in it, people who have accepted Christ and live with Him every day,” Fr. Marcin Bielicki, vicar of the St. Michael the Archangel parish in Warsaw, told the AFP. One of the faithful who was also questioned by the French media outlet explained that this custom was transmitted to him by his parents, who had received it from their parents. “It is very important to me,” he concluded.
A more recent tradition is beginning to flourish: reenacting the journey of the three kings in the streets of the cities and villages. This practice is more and more successful every year, with the participation of Catholic schools and the clergy. As reinformation.tv explains, these processions are developing all throughout the country: six Polish towns participated in 2011, 24 in 2012, 97 in 2013, 187 in 2014, 319 in 2015, 420 in 2016, 515 in 2017, 644 this year in Poland and 16 outside the country.
The procession in Warsaw, the country’s capital, has been taking place since 2008; this year it drew a crowd of 80,000 with three live Nativity scenes that of course included the three kings.
When the Angelus rang at noon, the procession set off to the sound of religious hymns sung by the crowd. Hundreds of children answered the call, escorting the three kings. In the city center, the archbishop of Warsaw, Cardinal Kazimierz Nycz, accompanied the faithful. The theme of this year’s Epiphany processions was “God is for everyone”.
Sources: afp / reinformation.tv / FSSPX.News – 1/24/2018