A British Sign Language (BSL) translation of Magi (singular: Magus). A term traditionally used for the group who went to worship the infant Jesus taking with them gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Magi, also known as Kings or Wise Men or Sages.

The title ‘Magi’ can be traced back to a middle eastern tribe which emerged around 700 BC. They were described as members of a priestly order but they also had political power and could influence those in authority.

When we read stories about Christmas or see a Nativity play, the Magi often appear alongside the shepherds. In fact, it is more likely their visit happened quite some time later – possibly up to two years later.

The pictures on Christmas cards and in story books are of just three men, wearing crowns and riding on camels making their way slowly across a desert.

We can’t be sure how many Magi made the trip – all we know for sure is that there was more than one. They brought three different types of gifts but that doesn’t mean only three made the journey. The journey would have taken many months, and, because of their high status they would certainly have travelled with personal bodyguards, a military detachment, servants, people to look after provisions, to cook, set up accommodation on the way (a temporary tented village), staff to care for the animals – and more. A company of hundreds likely made journey.

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