Epiphany is celebrated on 6 January in Slovakia to commemorate the journey of the magi, or wise men, who followed a shining star to visit the infant Jesus as recorded in the Bible. This holiday falls 12 days after Christmas Day.
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Slovakia is a predominantly Catholic country, with over 60 percent of the people identifying as Roman Catholics. That’s why the Catholic feast day of Epiphany is a public holiday here. It is also known as Three Kings’ Day.
Many will attend a special mass service on Epiphany or on the Sunday following to hear the story of the three Magi who came from the East to worship Christ the King and give him gifts. Children often dress up as the kings in in-service plays. Young boys traditionally don white robes and crowns to go door to door perform and retell the same story.
Sometimes, priests will visit homes and write the initials GMB on the door with chalk. This is said by some to represent the names of the three Magi, Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar.