You are currently viewing Epiphany (holiday). Synaxis of St. John the Baptist

Epiphany (holiday). Synaxis of St. John the Baptist

Christians celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January and, in addition to the consecration of water, includes several customs and traditions.

Epiphany is one of the 12 major Christian feasts and is meant to recall the events at the Jordan before Jesus entered public life. This is why the Church also calls Epiphany the “Presentation of the Lord,” the “Divine Presentation,” and the “Epiphany,” the latter coming from the Greek language and meaning “revelation,” “unveiling,” “revelation.” Epiphany means the renewal of the Christian man.

Also, on Epiphany Eve, priests go to the homes of the faithful to bring them the blessing of the Holy Trinity by sprinkling them with holy water. In Epiphany, all the seas are consecrated, and the priest goes to water into which he throws across. Several men throw themselves into the water to bring it back, and whoever pulls the cross out will have good luck all year.

Biography of John the Baptist

[table id=6 /]

Biblical places from the times of John the Baptist

  1. Jerusalem- Where is the location of Jerusalem?
  2. Kinneret- Is Kinneret, the Red Sea, located in Jerusalem?

Where is the real place of the Savior’s baptism?

The Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, or the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, has not adopted the straightened church calendar and, together with the Russian Patriarchate, the Georgian Patriarchate, the Serbian Patriarchate, and the Holy Mount Athos, celebrate according to the non-straightened calendar (Julian calendar), with a difference of 13 days.

The real place of  the Savior’s baptism is in Jordan. However, on the Israeli side of the Jordan, a site has been set up where Christians dressed in long white shirts, called “crimes,” enter the river. Every pilgrimage to the Holy Land has a stopping place at the Jordan River. Some priests immerse adult believers three times in the Jordan water, in a way repeating baptism.

Orthodox priests say baptism is unique, so they bless pilgrims by sprinkling them with water from the Jordan. These rituals can be seen all year round during pilgrimages, unrelated to Epiphany.

Read more: Three Kings Day. When Is Three Kings’ Day and How Is It Celebrated?

What was the role of the birth of John the Baptist?

Saint John is the link between the Old and New Testaments. He is the last prophet who points to Jesus of Nazareth as the long-awaited Saviour of the chosen people. After his death, he went with his soul to the abode of the dead; Heaven is closed. There he continued to preach Jesus Christ, preparing for His coming to hell.

The wonderful birth of St. John was the forerunner of the beautiful birth of Christ. The miracle was expected after the gift; after the barren mother, the Virgin Mother; after the beautiful birth of Elizabeth, the virgin birth of the Virgin, because in both mothers, the order of birth was the order of nature, as God willed, to whom all nature is a servant as a builder.

St. Elizabeth took the child John and fled to the highest mountain in the wilderness. As it is written in his life, St. Zacharias was then in Jerusalem, ministering according to custom in the church in the ordinance of his week, which had just happened at that time. So, hiding St. Elizabeth in that mountain, she prayed to God with tears to protect her and her child. And when she saw from above the Hosts searching with their eyes and approaching, she cried out to a mountain of stone that was there.

Key Verse related to John the Baptist

In those days, John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. ”This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah.”


Read also: Phanuel. What is archangel Phanuel known for?

Read more: Elohim. Is Elohim the name for the God of the Israelites?

Who else attended the baptism of the Lord?

Saint John the Baptist led an ascetic life from his youth (he wore a cloak made of camel hair and fed on locusts and wild honey), retiring to the desert of Bethabara, where he spent time in prayer and meditation. In the year 26, he began preaching and baptizing, proclaiming the coming of the Messiah-Jesus (the Redeemer), for which he is called the Forerunner.

The highlight of John’s work is his encounter with Jesus, at whose baptism in the Jordan River, the Holy Prophet John the Baptist witnessed the presence of the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove and had the revelation of the fulfillment of his prophecy of the coming of the true Messiah.

In his sermons, which have a pronounced moral and social character, he argues with the religious parties (Sadducees and Pharisees), advocating the correction of morals, justice, honesty, and good living. He accuses Herod Antipas, King of Judea, of incest, for which he is imprisoned and beheaded at the request of Herod’s wife.

3 Traditions and Customs on Epiphany Day

  1. According to folk tradition, it is said that after Saint John, the frost is baptized; that is, the cold melts away, and temperatures begin to rise. Saint John is considered the protector of infants.
  2. Those who keep the feast hope to have healthy, malformation-free babies.
  3. Another custom on St. John’s Day is the “Epiphany,” a kind of carol singing. Several young people who have taken holy water from the priest on the eve of St. John’s feast go to the church on the morning of St. John’s Day, and after the end of the service, sprinkle it on every person who comes their way, then wish them well. The “epiphanies” people must reward the haters with money, which they feast on in the evening.

Primary Takeaways

  • Saint John the Baptist is, through his life and his devotion, a model of ascetic monasticism. “The Holy Gospels tell us Saint John was an ascetic, a man of prayer, fasting, and neediness. He was clothed in a robe of coarse camel’s hair, girded with a girdle, and fed on wild honey and locusts.
  • His repentance was one of moral correction of people. He preached to spiritual, moral life, preaching at once spiritual and social.
  • St John the Baptist is honored on the day of the chopping off the head with fasting, even though the feast is a Sunday this year because the Church wants to highlight that too much food and drink can lead to violence and ill-considered decisions.


Saint John the Baptist was born in the city of Orini in the family of the priest Zacharias. Elizabeth, his mother, was a descendant of the tribe of Aaron. The birth of the prophet John took place six months before the birth of Jesus. His birth was announced by the angel Gabriel to Zechariah while he was serving in the temple. Because he would not believe the angel Gabriel had told, Zechariah would remain mute until his son’s name was called.

The great Forerunner’s connection to the Epiphany is strong because he, John, baptized Jesus.

In the following lines, you will find a biblical trivia game to test your knowledge about Epiphany. You may even want to access more sections from our page for Multiple Bible Quizzes. Thank you! Have a good day, and may God bless you

Quizlet about The Epiphany

[ays_quiz id=”81″]


  • Platt, V. (2015). Epiphany. In The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion.
  • Petridou, G. (2016). Divine epiphany in Greek literature and culture. Oxford University Press.
  • Versnel, H. S. (1987).
  • Fisher, L. (2008). 11th January: 1st after Epiphany. The expository times120(3), 137-138.
  • Kasprzak, K., & Jakimovska, I. (2002). THEOLOGICAL, ARTISTIC AND ETHNOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST. EthnoAnthropoZoom/ЕтноАнтропоЗум, (2), 181-199.