6th January 2011-Epiphany
Epiphany is celebrated by both the Eastern and Western Churches on 6th January every year; the feast primarily commemorates the coming of the Magi, the three wise kings who visited infant Jesus bearing gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense. In Eastern churches celebrate the Baptism of Christ in the Jordan on this day. In both traditions, the essence of the feast is the same: the manifestation of Christ to the world (whether as an infant or in the Jordan), and the Mystery of the Incarnation.
Incarnation literally means embodied in flesh or taking on flesh. It refers to the conception and birth of a sentient creature (generally a human) who is the material manifestation of an entity, God or force whose original nature is immaterial. In its religious context the word is used to mean the descent of God, or divine being in human form on Earth. Word of God became flesh. The word was in the beginning.
Around January 6, the symbol +C+B+M+ with two numbers before and two numbers after (for example, 20+C+B+M+11) is sometimes seen written in chalk above the doorway of Christian homes. The letters are the initials of the traditional names of the Three Magi: Casper, Melchior and Balthazar. These letters also abbreviate the Latin phrase Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless this house.” The beginning and ending numbers are the year, 2011 in the example above. The crosses represent Christ.