If you have no idea what this photo is, don’t ask, I feel old enough.
The time between Christmas and Theophany (Jan. 6) is a time of joy and celebration in the Eastern church. All fasting is ceased, alms giving is encouraged. Each day is kept as a remembrance of something from within our Christian faith – Mary, Joseph, the Holy Martyrs, etc. Theophany in the Eastern church is the celebration of the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River by John the Baptist, not the arrival of the Magi.
While this concludes the Twelve Days of Christmas, our celebration of this festive season continues on for another 28 days, until February 2nd, the Presentation of the baby Jesus in the temple.
Celebration periods in the Eastern church tend to match the fasting periods prior to the Feast (Holy day). So, prior to the 40 day celebration of Christ’s birth is a 40 day fasting period to prepare us for the celebration. You tend to appreciate the celebration more if you prepare for it. Doesn’t the Easter meal taste so much better after the Lenten fasting?