2 You probably know The Twelve Days of Christmas song by heart, but do you know when the actual twelfth day of Christmas is? It's twelve days after Christmas, on January 6th. This is also known as Three Kings Day, and as the EpiphanyIn some ways your family may follow some Three Kings Day traditions without knowing it. If your family takes down their Christmas Tree on January 6th every year, they are following a Three Kings Day tradition.For Christians, Three Kings Day represents the day that three kings followed the Star of Bethlehem.This celebration itself originates from the New Testament story in which the kings Melchor, Gaspar, and Balthasar travel by night to bring gifts to Jesus. In 1885, the Spanish government called for a parade to mark the holiday. A beloved tradition, the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos is the oldest parade in Spain.
3 Lucky Spanish speaking children all over the Spanish speaking world are looking forward to January 6, On this day, the three wise men from the Christmas Nativity story visit children bearing small gifts and treats. Sometimes los tres Reyes, or the three kings, put the gifts in a child’s shoe, un zapato, or under the Christmas tree.That evening, before an early night in bed, children leave out their shoes in a spot where the Kings are sure to see them. The religious monarchs, just like Santa Claus, certainly love their sweets, so Spanish children often set out goodies to entice the Kings as well as hay to feed their camels. When morning arrives, children delightedly discover that the Kings nibbled the sweets, the camels ate the hay, and by their shoes there are wrapped presents just waiting to be torn into.
5 The Letter to the Three Kings: La Carta para Los Tree Reyes Children often write a letter, una carta, to the three Wise Men, not only asking for gifts, but describing their good deeds and behavior over the past year. Kids sometimes decorate la carta with drawings.
6 In Mexico City, "la rosca de reyes" In Mexico City, "la rosca de reyes". King's ring - a circular sweet bread with a doll baked inside representing the baby Jesus) will be eaten today with hot chocolate - a warm tradition
7 The Procession of the Three Kings: La Cabalgata de los Tres Reyes In traditonal towns, villages and cities in Spanish speaking countries there is a procession of the three kings, or La Cabalgata de los Tres Reyes. Sometimes there are floats too
8 The tradition comes from the South of France, few centuries ago The tradition comes from the South of France, few centuries ago. At the beginning people used to present gifts to the “Baby Jesus” and mostly consisted of dried fruits, nuts, flour, honey, eggs and others. To commemorate the Epiphany, they took some of those gifts and baked a sweet roll with the shape of a crown, (Rosca de Reyes or King's Cake), remembering the Magi or Three Wise Men (Kings from the East) that went to adore the Baby Jesus. The story says the Kings were looking for the baby, which is why the baby dolls are inside the Rosca de Reyes to look for it. It is a family and friends’ gathering to celebrate the Epiphany and the Rosca de Reyes or King’s Cake is an occasion to have some fun and enjoy the get together. It is important that you explain to your guests, that there are 2 little plastic dolls: one is Baby and the other is a King. The one who finds the King has to please (honestly) during the feast, to the one who finds the Baby and both have to make a party on the 2nd of February (Dia de la Candelaria or Candlemas Day), inviting all the guests that are present and offer them tamales and Mexican hot chocolate. That is part of the GOOD LUCK!