People in Spain and spanish speaking countries (Central – America, South – America and some parts of the USA) celebrate the Three Kings’ Day today. In Spanish it is called El Día de Los Reyes or El Día de Los Reyes Magos. Those three kings refer to Wisemen who followed the star 12 nights long accros the desert. Finally they found newborn baby Jesus in Bethlehem.
Image is courtesy of quincianera.
All three wisemen/Kings Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar – representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa respectively- presented baby Jesus with three symbolic gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The celebration is about honoring these Three Kings. In Bahasa Indonesia they are called Orang Majus. Children in those celebrating countries receive gifts from the Three Kings. Some prefer to get their presents from the Three Kings than from Santa Claus at Christmas. The ritual is almost similar though with Santa Claus and Sinterklaas in The Netherlands. Before bedtime, the children place their wish list in their old shoes. In the morning, the shoes are filled with toys and gifts. The children believe the Three Kings give them the presents but it is actually the parents, grandparents or uncles/aunts who arrange this.
On the eve of Three Kings’s Day at 5 January, a traditional bread is served. It is called Rosca de Reyes, The Kings’ ring. In some countries it is called Roscón de Reyes. It is a sweet circular bread filled with candied fruits (figs, oranges, cherries etc.). The fillings vary according to the regions.
Pic is courtesy of lavenderandlovage
In The Netherlands Three Kings’ Day is celebrated in regions where Catholics live, under the Rhine river on the map. However all Dutchies in the whole country do believe this day marks the end of the period where people wish each other Happy New Year. After The Three Kings’s Day (in Dutch Drie Koningen), it is not fallowed to wish Happy new year according to Dutch custom.
El día de Los Reyes is also known as Epifanía. It is an official holiday in Spain and spanish speaking countries. Buen día de Los Reyes to those who celebrate!