January 6 marks a symbolic celebration among the Mexican culture and various areas around the globe as they celebrate Día de Los Reyes also known as the Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day.
The holiday closes out the Christmas celebrations and represents the day the Three Wise Men or the Magi brought gifts to the baby Jesus after following what is known as the Christmas star to the town of Bethlehem, as told in the Gospel of Matthew.
According to Wikipedia, “The Epiphany of the Lord is celebrated on January 6, unless, where it is not observed as a holy day of obligation, it has been assigned to the Sunday occurring between 2 and 8 January.”
“In Spanish tradition on January 6, three of the Kings: Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar, representing Arabia, the Orient, and Africa, arrived on horse, camel, and elephant, bringing respectively gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus,” states Wikipedia. It is considered part of the Christmas traditional celebrations which begins Christmas Eve up to and including the Sunday after Epiphany and is celebrated in churches worldwide.
Although a religious observance and not a public holiday, the streets in Mexico and around the world can be difficult to navigate due to the festivals, parades, and celebrations going on.
In honor of the Three Kings bringing gifts to the baby Jesus, children in Latin America, Spain, and around the world celebrate by exchanging gifts.
As tradition has it, children leave out their shoes on the night of January 5th for the Three Kings. “In Spain, before children go to bed, they leave a dish filled with biscuits and a few glasses of water for the three wise men and the camels they ride on,” states Wikipedia. The next morning they awake to find gifts and toys left for them from the Three Kings.
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