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Catholic Activity: A Children's Party for Twelfth Night

The visit of the three Wise Men is one the best event of Christ's life that can come alive for children. A great way to bring this idea home is through a party for children for the feast of the Epiphany, or Twelfth Night. Also see the "Procession to the Royal Crib" for the religious activities of the party.


The first idea that our celebrations within the family should try to make vivid for the children is the visit of the three Magi. These are such fascinating and mysterious figures, and the whole episode is so dramatic that there are numerous ways in which this can be done. Many families these days give an Epiphany or "Twelfth Night" party at which the traditional dessert is a cake, containing three beans or large nuts. The three people who find the beans in their piece of cake, are hailed as the "Wise Men" and immediately don the most gorgeous robes available. Colorful old drapes become exotic regal apparel, and fine crowns are fashioned from such prosaic materials as round oatmeal boxes covered with aluminum foil. After that the "kings" rule the party for the rest of the afternoon or evening. They choose the games, supervise the refreshments and may demand special favors from their subjects. It may be added that it is important that the hostess plans a program beforehand, especially in the case of small children. Simple place cards with texts from the Epiphany Mass, and meal prayers which include the Epiphany collect, aid in carrying out the theme.

Activity Source: Twelve Days of Christmas, The by Elsa Chaney, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1955

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