Tradiciones Hispanas: Dia de Reyes

Tradiciones Hispanas: Dia de Reyes 
Hispanic Traditions: The Three wise men day.


Around this time of year, it is great to celebrate the traditions that we hold dear to our hearts but it can also be fun to learn a little about how other countries celebrate the holidays.  Some Hispanic cultures celebrate what is known as Dia de Reyes or The Three wise men day.

You may have more of a clue as to what this holiday means when I tell you that it is also known as Epiphany in th US.  This is the day in which the The Three wise men from the East traveled to see baby Jesus and present them with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Let’s learn how some countries celebrate it:

In Spain, Spaniards celebrate the religious day with a parade called the “Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos,” which takes place on the eve of the Epiphany.

People gather to watch a variety of Christmas-themed floats, performers dressed as angels and animals, lead the way for the three kings. The kings usually show up riding horses or on decorated floats and throw a variety of goods to the children in the audience. In Spain it is the Three Kings who bring presents and not Santa Claus. In the morning, families enjoy a bejeweled round cake called the “Rosca de Reyes,” or Kings’ Cake, to represent the jewels on their crowns.

Mexico also celebrates “Dia de Reyes” with a family gathering around the “Rosca de Reyes”, which includes a figurine of infant Jesus baked inside. Once the “Rosca”.  Whoever finds the baby Jesus figurine is blessed and must take the figurine to the nearest church on February 2 (Candlemas Day, Día de la Candelaria). This person has the responsibility of hosting a dinner and providing tamales and atole to the guests too.

In Puerto Rico, on “La Víspera de Reyes” (the Eve of Three Kings Day) Puerto Rican children participate in cutting grass that will then be placed in a show box and go under their bed. The children are asked to write a wish list, which is then placed on top of the box of grass. Several families give out money instead of presents.

In Argentina, children make sure to place a pair of shoes, grass and a bowl of water for the camels and bread under their Christmas tree. The next morning the children wake up to presents under the tree.

For Cubans, the celebration of Three Kings Day begins when families decorate their Christmas tree and put out their nativity scenes. They place the figurines of the kings further away from the display and move them closer to the manger as they get closer to the day. Just like with Santa Claus, children will receive presents if they have behaved well through out the year.

So if you want to join some of our traditions you can get started by following this steps:

Sources for content: Article: Dia de Los Reyes Magos: Latinos, Hispanics Celebrate the Coming of the Three Wise Men Article: Rosca de Reyes Article: Ya vienen los Magos.