Epiphany (Epiphany) (Greek or Theophaneia Epiphaneia), a Christian feast on the remembrance of the baptism of Jesus Christ in the waters of Jordan. In the Orthodox Church is among larger Dvonadesyatyh intransitive holidays. Celebrated on 19 January in the Orthodox churches and 6 January in the Catholic Church.
About Epiphany stories in all four Gospels (Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:9-11, Luke 3:21-23, cf. John 1:33-34). On 30 th year of his life, before going out to preach, Jesus came to the Jordan where John the Baptist, preaching repentance of sins, baptized people, and demanded that he baptized him. When Jesus Christ came out of the water and prayed, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit as a dove descended upon him and heard a voice: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17). Holy Baptism is also called Theophany because of Baptism of the Lord appeared Divine Trinity: God the Father (which hlaholyv the Son), Son of God (who was baptized by John and testimony of God the Father) and the Holy Spirit (which descended upon the Son in the form of a dove).
Holy Baptism (Epiphany) began celebrated in III. The first mention is in "Stromatah" Aleksandriyskoho Clement, who writes that Vasylyda followers celebrate the baptism of the Savior's call it Epiphany, as they believe, Christ was the Son of God is from the baptism and descent of the Holy Spirit in him. It follows that in the Orthodox in Alexandria by Clement this holiday did not exist. In III. holiday spreads. According to "Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ» (III cent.) Church year limited only three holidays: Easter, Pentecost and Epiphany in the Orthodox celebration which saw different meaning than Vasylyda followers.
Feast of the Epiphany was long associated with the holiday of Christmas. According to "Apostolic determined" (Syria, V cent.) (Kn. V, 3; book. VIII, 33) and the ancient Coptic calendar, the holiday dedicated Epiphany; Ephraim Sirin (IV century). In the hymns of the Epiphany also suggests Baptism of Christ. Almost all the East by the end of IV. - A celebration in honor of Christmas (which implies, in particular, by describing the Epiphany in Jerusalem pilgrim akvytanskoyi Silvia, the end of IV century). Even after the East influenced the West, Christmas was separated from the Epiphany, it often had the name of the Epiphany (for example, Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, etc.).. Against this identification was John Chrysostom: "Not a day that is born a Savior, should be called the appearance, but that when he was baptized, not after birth, he became known to all, but when baptized. Simultaneously with the division of the Nativity and the Baptism in the IV century. in the East until January 6 in conjunction with the baptism of catechumens, and therefore there was a special tradition honoring the water, blessed this holiday for their baptism. Because holiday received also the name of the Enlightenment, spring flowers, as the Savior appeared to enlighten "those who dwell in darkness and death place" (Matthew 4:16).
Bolshaya Encyclopedia Cyril and Mefodyya, 2001. (Translation - added)
This celebration is different also called Epiphany, because on this day was the phenomenon of the Trinity, especially - manifestation of the Godhead Savior, who solemnly began his salvific ministry.
Epiphany is celebrated as well as the celebration of Christmas. Before departing Royal Hours, Liturgy of St. Basil the Great Vigil and Vigil, which begins Great Compline. The peculiarity of this holiday are two big vodoosvyachennya, so named in contrast to small, because small vodoosvyachennya may be at any other time.
The first is a great vodoosvyachennya eve of the temple, and second - in the holiday outdoors on the rivers, ponds, wells near. First, the ancients, for christening zvershuvalosya already announced and subsequently converted in remembrance of the baptism of Christ: the second is probably passed from the ancient custom of Christians in Jerusalem the day of Epiphany to go to Jordan and there mention of the baptism of Christ. Therefore we must Epiphany procession denomination religious procession in Jordan.