It strikes me as distinctly odd that we pack away Christmas on Epiphany as though a film director shouts: “That’s it, the Kings have arrived. Cut. It’s a wrap”. 1 Surely instead there should be twelve drummers drumming, an announcement and a lingering over the import of the visitation from such august company? Time for the visitors to refresh themselves, give gifts and narrate the events of their incredible journeying from the Orient. Eliot imaginatively captures the cold, discomforts and doubts that accompany the Magi:
“…A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly…”