Friday, January 6, 2012
Three King's Day - Día de los Reyes Magos
The Twelve Days of Christmas now conclude with the arrival of the three Eastern Kings! Since childhood I have loved the song "Partridge in a Pear Tree" and all it's imagery. But it really made no sense when juxtaposed with North American celebrations of the retail season. Which twelve days? Easy to be confused when Christmas carols are played in stores and on the radio well before Thanksgiving day. Now turning to the core of the matter and reason for it all, the Twelve Days of Christmas are the festive days beginning Christmas Day (25 December). The Twelfth Night of Christmas is always on the evening of 5 January. Twelfth Night is followed by the Feast of the Epiphany on 6 January. Now you may ask what this has to do with the modern world? Ah, nothing. But it might explain why Latinos in your town are planning dinner, baking a ring shaped pastry and are acting, well, festive.
In the Latin world, Epiphany day is called El Día de los Reyes Magos (The Day of the Kings), i.e., the day when several Kings or Magi, arrived from the East to worship and present three gifts to the baby Jesus after following a particularly bright star in the heavens. I find it an incredible story and a wonderful excuse to celebrate with a parade, general merriment and ten lords a-leaping. And yes, you now have permission to take down the Christmas tree!
source - wikipedia
video source - Youtube