Twelfth Night or Epiphany Eve is a festival marking the coming of the Epiphany, and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as "the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking".
The celebration of Epiphany, the adoration of the Magi, is marked in some cultures by the exchange of gifts, and Twelfth Night, as the eve or vigil of Epiphany, takes on a similar significance to Christmas Eve.
It commemorates the first two occasions on which Jesus’ divinity, according to Christian belief, was manifested: when the three kings (also known as wise men or Magi) visited infant Jesus in Bethlehem, and when John the Baptist baptized him in the River Jordan. The Roman Catholic and Protestant churches emphasize the visit of the Magi when they celebrate the Epiphany. The Eastern Orthodox churches focus on Jesus’ baptism.
In the city of Muqui, south of Espirito Santo State, the Epiphany National Meeting has been held since the 1950´s , during which some 90 groups from various States such as Espirito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Goias and Sao Paulo get together. It is the oldest and largest gathering of depicted Wise Men in the country. The event is taking place on the 23rd of August, 2014.
The Twelfth Night, or Folia de Reis is a beautiful celebration brought to Brazil by the early catholic Portuguese. It flourished in the nineteenth century in regions where coffee plantations prospered. Groups composed of musicians, instrumentalists and people from the community wear stylized costumes and they walk the town streets visiting homes, farms, and ranches.The musicians are welcomed with tables full of local dainties and in return they promote a night of great music and theater.