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Three Kings Day

Three Kings Day is also called the Twelfth Day as it is the 12th day after Christmas. In Mexico, it´s called El Día de los Tres Reyes Magos.

It is a Christian feast intended to celebrate the "shining forth" or Revelation of God to mankind in human form, in the person of Jesus.

This is the day, according to Christian legend, that the Three Kings arrived at Jesus' manger with gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Many Latin Americans exchange gifts on this day rather than Christmas.

El Dia de los Reyes Magos

Three Kings Day, or El Dia de los Reyes Magos, celebrates the Biblical story of the three kings - Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar - who followed a star that led them to Bethlehem, where they brought the baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The journey is said to have taken 12 days, beginning on December 25 and ending with their arrival on January 6. 

Matthew 2: 1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, 2 behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, "Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star 3 at its rising and have come to do him homage."

When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.

They said to him, "In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet:  'And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.'"

Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star's appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage."

After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

Rosca de Reyes

Just about everyone in Mexico celebrates this day with a Rosca de Reyes coffee cake with 5 or 6 little plastic baby Jesus dolls baked into the cake for good luck.  
Whoever gets the slices of rosca with the baby Jesus in it has to provide the tamales and atole in a dinner party at Candlemas (February 2).

This tradition is said to come from the South of France, where people used to present gifts to a "Baby Jesus" that consisted of dried fruits, nuts, flour, honey, and eggs. To commemorate Three Kings Day, 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 Wise Kings that went to adore the Baby Jesus.

Rosca de Reyes - Kings Cake
Rosca de Reyes

Kings Cake

Bulletin Board
Three Kings Day Carnival Parade
Three Kings Day Carnival Parade

Nativity Set
Three Kings and a Star
Three Kings and a Star

Three Kings Day
Three Kings Day

by The Stars Of Heaven

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