Peregrinatio Aetheriae, 381-384 A.D.
The pilgrim Egeria, the first woman to describe for us the Holy Places, tells in her Travels to the Holy Land of the traditional pilgrimages that were made by pilgrims to the places of memory of the events of the Savior’s life.
In her description of Bethlehem she speaks of the rituals and celebrations carried out during the Feast of the Epiphany.
Feast of the Epiphany
And in Bethlehem every day throughout the week the feast is celebrated by priests and all of the clergy of this place and by the monks who are assigned to this place. From the hour when all return by night to Jerusalem with the bishop, the monks of this place, whichever ones are there, keep vigil in the church in Bethlehem until dawn, chanting hymns and antiphons, because the bishop must always be in Jerusalem on these days. For the solemn and joyful observance of this day, an enormous crowd assembles in Jerusalem from every quarter, composed not only of monks but also of the laity, men and women.