The Epiphany is a feast of the Christian calender celebrated on January 6. The word comes from the Greek and means "manifestation," "appearance," or "revelation." The observance originated in the Eastern church, and at first celebrated the total revelation of God in Christ. Later it focused upon two events of Jesus' ministry, his baptism (Mark 1:9-11) and the changing of the water into wine at Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-12). Interestingly, a similar festival of Dionysus, the wine god, was kept on this day in the Aegean Islands and Anatolia. When the observance of January 6 spread to the West, it became associated with the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus (Matthew 2:1-12), an event that in the West originally formed part of the Christmas observance (Grollier).
The date the Church celebrates the feast of the miracle of Cana is 6 January, the feast of the Epiphany. Epiphania means "appearance" in Greek and refers to the revelation of the Lord's power. In pagan antiquity 6 January was the day celebrating the revelation of a different divine power and wine miracles performed by a different god: It was the feast of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine: In fact the motif of the story, the transformation of water into wine, is a typical motif of the Dionysus legend, in which this miracle serves to highlight the god's epiphany. And hence it is timed to coincide with the date of the feast of Dionysus, from January 5 th to 6 th. In the ancient Church this affinity was still understood, when . the 6 th of January was taken to be the day that the marriage feast was celebrated at Cana. . Plainly put, in the legend of the marriage at Cana Jesus reveals his divine power in the same way that stories had told of the Greek god Dionysus (Ranke-Heinmann 1992 81).
The 6th of January became for Christians the feast of the power revelation (epiphany) of their God, thereby displacing the feast of Dionysus's epiphany. As Bultmann says, "No doubt the story [of the marriage feast at Cana] has been borrowed from pagan legends and transferred to Jesus". On his feast day, Dionysus made empty jars fill up with wine in his temple in Elis; and on the island of Andros, wine flowed instead of water from a spring or in his temple. Accordingly, the true miracle of the marriage feast at Cana would not be the transformation by Jesus of water into wine, but the transformation of Jesus into a sort of Christian wine god (Ranke-Heinmann 1992 81). In fact the 'water into wine' is also stated to be one of the first of the many bizarre miracles of Dionysus (Briffault 3 130).