Feast of Epiphany commemorated

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Photos courtesy Pagosa Catholic Community
The local Catholic community commemorated the feast of Epiphany on Jan. 6 in traditional fashion, including with a Las Posadas celebration for the kids in the parish.

By Gregg Heid | Pagosa Catholic Community

The Catholic community commemorated the feast of Epiphany on Friday, Jan. 6, with a Las Posadas celebration for the kids in the parish. 

Posadas in Mexico is a commemoration of the nativity story. Posadas is the Spanish word for “lodgings” or “inn” and refers to Joseph and Mary’s search for refuge on their way to Bethlehem before giving birth to baby Jesus.

Epiphany refers to the revelation or manifestation of the Christ child to the world. This is seen in the readings of Matthew’s gospel (2:1-12) depicting the Magi, who are seen as kings from other nations, visiting the baby Jesus. Epiphany Sunday comes 12 days after Christmas and ends the Christmas season for most Christians.

During traditional celebrations, the kids will break a piñata with a broom stick. The piñata is a decorated clay or paper mache container filled with candy. The traditional piñata will usually be in the shape of a seven-pointed star with a variety of bright colors (though they also come in nine and five points). Each point represents what some Christians believe to be one of the seven deadly sins or seven capital vices.

Posadas in Mexico, and at John Paul II, featured hot food and drinks, sweets, music, games and, of course, the breaking of the piñata. There are also loaves of three kings bread (Rosca de Reyes), oval-shaped bread, a tradition for the three kings. The holiday commemorates the story of the three wise men visiting Jesus. Inside every Rosca de Reyes are baby Jesus figurines. The tradition is that if you cut into a piece with the figurine inside, you must host the next party for your family. 

Participants pray prayers of thanksgiving and end the night with aguinaldos (small bags filled with treats and candies) distributed as parting gifts to the guests to help them continue on their “journey.”