Millions of Christians around the world celebrate Epiphany (also known as Theophany, El Dia de Los Tres Reyes and Three Kings Day) every year on Jan. 6. — a commemorative holiday that holds deep religious significance, as it marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas and is considered a remembrance of Jesus Christ’s importance to the faith.
Roman Catholic and Protestant Christians generally focus on the story of the Wisemen finding Jesus, while Eastern Christians, including Greek Orthodox Christians, tend to commemorate the baptism of Jesus at the age of 30, according to The Huffington Post.
Greek Orthodox churches also celebrate Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana.
Regardless of the focus, the holiday’s general meaning is the same. Beliefnet explains: “In both traditions the idea is the same: the revelation of Christ to the world — whether as an infant or as a 30-year-old.”
Perhaps most noteworthy, though, are the entertaining, intriguing and downright frigid ways the holiday is celebrated.
In Italy, Pope Francis remembered the day by visiting a living nativity. Lithuanians commemorated the holiday with festivities in the street — but others in Kalofer, Bulgaria and Larnaca, Cyprus (to name just two locations) — plunged into the frigid waters, diving after crosses and partaking in other related activities.
See just some of these fascinating celebrations below and read more about Epiphany.