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Just When We Thought It Was Time to Take Down the Tree
January 5, 2016
Christmas might not be over just yet after all…
Just when we thought it was time to take down the tree and say so-long to the festivities for another year, we remembered Three Kings’ Day, or “El Día de los Reyes”.
What is El Día de los Reyes?
Reyes is a celebration that occurs on the 12th day of Christmas, (6th Jan, this year), which marks the biblical event of the three Kings or Wise Men visiting the baby Jesus. In the book of Matthew, the three Wise Men, named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar, followed a star across the desert for 12 days to find baby Jesus. They then presented him with three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The celebration of this, Three Kings Day, El Día de los Reyes, or the Feast of the Epiphany, is the official end of the Christmas calendar.
Who celebrates it?
It is celebrated by Christians all over the globe, although particularly in Latin America and Spain.
How it is celebrated?
Three King’s Day is celebrated in a number of ways, from parades to three-day-long events. Disneyland is even getting in on the act, by expanding its celebrations of the event after a successful taster back in 2012. This will include mariachi bands and dancers! Food is also a big part of this holiday as a special dough is made, called “Rosca de Reyes” or King’s Bread. It’s a sweet bread, baked into a circle to represent a crown. In Mexico they even make a mile-long version of the bread, which attracts thousands of visitors. It is traditional to hide a baby Jesus figurine in the dough, too! Other festive food and drink for the day include hot chocolate and tamales.
People also mark the day with a number of other traditions, including:
Lining shoes up at the door
Kids leave their shoes outside their doors, so that the Three Kings will leave gifts in them!
Hispanic families will often prepare another feast-like dinner to celebrate the day, often with King’s Bread for pudding.
Grass for the camels
Some families even leave out grass or hay for the King’s camels. The camels in turn often leave a trail of the hay leading back to the children’s presents!
One more day of celebrating can’t hurt, right?