As you all know, I’m from Puerto Rico. We are known as the place with the longest Christmas of the World. We celebrate Santa (of course!), then Los Tres Reyes Magos Celebration, and we continue celebrating with Las Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian.
Today, we’ll celebrate the Tres Reyes Magos Eve. You might recognize them as The Wisemen (or Three Kings). The tradition is much like Santa’s arrival, but instead of leaving cookies and milk, we need to cut grass for the camels and leave it in a shoe box under the Christmas tree.
Santa Claus is taking his vacation, but we celebrate once more. The gift-giving (and receiving) is here for another run! This is a Latin America and Spain tradition. The holiday falls annually on January 6. On the night of the 5th, we gather as a family and go to the backyard to collect grass for the camels. It’s very exciting. In the morning, the children can see the mess that the camel left with it. 😀
To give you a little background, the arrival of the Reyes Magos is the biblical adoration of baby Jesus by the three Kings, also called Wise Men or Magi. The men found the divine child by following a star across the desert for twelve days to Bethlehem. Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar – representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa respectively traveled by horse, camel, and elephant to present baby Jesus with three symbolic gifts.
The gold offered by one of the wise men is a symbolic acknowledgment of Jesus’ royal standing as “King of the Jews,” while the frankincense manifests the divine nature of the baby’s existence, since he is not an earthly king but the Son of God, and finally the myrrh, often used to embalm corpses, as a gift to the newborn as a symbol of Jesus’ mortality – foreshadowing his death to cleanse humanity of its sins.
Reyes festivities come in different shapes and sizes across the globe. From community parades to three-day celebrations at Disneyland – something that I didn’t knew.
Hope you have a wonderful day. We are keeping the tradition alive, and will enjoy this day with the kids! Feliz Dia de Los Tres Reyes Magos!