ܥܐܕܐ ܕܕܢܚܗ ܕܡܪܢ
Fr. Dr. Khoshaba Gewargis
The festival of Epiphany (or "Dinkha" in the Assyrian language), is the commemoration of the baptism of Jesus Christ in the Jordan River by St. John the Baptist.
It is a fixed festival and is celebrated on the 6th of January on the Julian Calendar or old calendar used by the Ancient Church of the East and corresponds to January 19 of the Gregorian or new calendar. The word Epiphany comes from the Greek word epiphaneia which means to appear or to illuminate. In Assyrian we call this festival Dinkha which also means to shine or illuminate. This festival is the commemoration of the baptism of our Lord Jesus Chirst by St. John the Baptist, according to Luke 3 : 21 - 22 . Our Lord was 30 years of age when he was baptized. When our Lord was baptized his Godhead shined to the world as he came out of the water of the Jordan River. The Holy spirit ascended upon Him as an image of a dove and a voice was heard from the heavens, "This is my Son, in whom I am pleased". On the eve of this festival we light candles in our homes and churches to signify the light. It is also very common for children to be baptized on this day, the same day Jesus was baptized.
Christians also commemorate the arrival of the Magi (or Wise Men) from the East to Bethlehem during the holiday of the Epiphany.