History And Traditions Behind ‘El Día De Los Reyes’ | bambinoides.com

History And Traditions Behind ‘El Día De Los Reyes’

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The date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas and commemorates the three wise men who traveled from afar, bearing gifts for the infant baby Jesus.

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For many Americans, the holiday season revelry ends on New Year’s Day, but millions of Christians across the globe are expected to celebrate one more holiday after singing “Auld Lang Syne.” That celebration, known by a number of names including Three Kings’ Day, Día De Los Reyes Magos, the Epiphany and Day of Kings, falls on Jan. 6 and is a big deal in countries from Peru to India.

Santa Claus may have gone back to the North Pole to rest, but it doesn’t mean the gift-giving (and receiving) is over — at least not for the thousands of children in Latin America and Spain anxiously awaiting“El Día de los Reyes” Celebration on Jan. 6th.

For many Christians, the holiday season doesn’t officially end until the 12th day of Christmas known as the “Feast of the Epiphany” or “Three Kings’ Day”.

The holiday marks the biblical adoration of baby Jesus by the three Kings, also referred to as three Wise Men or Magi. According to the Gospel of Matthew, 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 — travelled by horse, camel, and elephant in order 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 Los 3 Reyes Magos 3existence, since he is not an earthly king but the Son of God. And finally the myrrh, often used to embalm corpses, was gifted to the newborn as a symbol of Jesus’ mortality — foreshadowing his death as a means 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. In Mexico, thousands gather every year to taste a mile-long “Rosca de Reyes” (Kings’ Bread) while others simply make the holiday staple at home honoring the tradition to hide a baby jesus figurine within the bread — the person whose slice has the figurine must prepare tamales for everyone on the Day of the Candles on Feb. 2!

Whatever one chooses to call the holiday, the Epiphany commemorates the adoration of the baby Jesus Christ by the Magi and Christ’s baptism in Western Christianity, while in Eastern Christianity it is a commemoration of the baptism of Jesus. The term “Three Kings’ Day” is a reference to the three wise men, or magi, represented as kings, who visited Christ in his manger in Bethlehem and presented him with precious gifts. The Bible discusses this key scene in Matthew 2:11: “On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

The kings, named Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar, represent Arabia, Europe and Africa, respectively, and give their gifts to celebrate the birth of the “King of the Jews.” A favorite subject of artists and nativity scenes at churches and in yards, the Epiphany was a pivotal and symbolic moment in the history of Christianity that many cultures seek to keep alive 3-reyes_1and remember through a wide range of celebratory practices.

In Puerto Rico, children put a hay-filled box under their beds for the kings’ camels to eat, which the magi then repay in the form of gifts. In Lebanon, members of the Maronite Church go to midnight mass and pray for their dead ancestors. In India, there are a colorful variety of celebrations, particularly in the south, but it often takes the form of a fair with food, lengthy mass, decorations and more.

Even Christians who don’t expressly take the time to mark Jan. 6 often honor the significance of the religious celebration during their Christmas Eve or Christmas Day prayers and celebrations because it is so closely tied to the birth of Christ and the nativity.


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