Three Kings (Hispanic)
January 6, 2024
The Feast of Reyes (Fiesta de Reyes or Los Reyes) is celebrated in Spain/Portugal and Latin America on January 6th. The feast celebrates the passage in the Bible in which the Three Wise Men safely arrive to Jerusalem thanks to the guidance of the Star and bring gifts to Jesus. The level of celebration varies from a family gathering to a huge city wide and very anticipated parade depending on the culture/country. For example, both Spain and Puerto Rico celebrate with large parades, and many argue that Reyes is more festive/a larger celebration than Christmas. Despite the differences in the level of “Community Celebration”, all cultures/countries share some traditions around this feast: 1. Family gathering the night before and/or the day of Reyes. 2. Eating the Rosca/Roscon de Reyes, a sweet bread in the shape of a large oval “doughnut” with dried fruit on top. This is a very time consuming sweet to make. Inside the bread there is one (or more than one depending on the size of the Rosca) figurine of “Baby Jesus”. Based on each family’s traditions (mostly guided by the cultural traditions of the country of origin) the person that receives the piece of bread with the figurine will be responsible for hosting the party the next year, bringing tamales for the feast of Candelaria/Candlemas Day (Mexican Tradition), or doing/not doing the dishes, first one to other presents, etc. 3. All kids (and grown up kids) leave their shoes by the window the night before Reyes (Jan 5th) or under the Christmas Tree so the Reyes (Kings) can fill them with gifts during the night. Usually, kids select their favorite shoes, “Church” shoes or the shoes that better represent them (soccer shoes, dance shoes, flip-flops, etc). 4. Kids also leave water outside their home for the camels to drink. (The Three Wise Men travel on camels). It is important also to mention that this feast brings much attention to the idea of the star that guided the Three Wise Men to Jesus and how we should always follow God’s light and path and trust that we will be safe.