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Día De Los Reyes – Three Kings Day

Día De Los Reyes (Three Kings Day) may seem to fall outside of the December Holiday celebration; however, it’s part of the religious symbolism of Christmas, and it is celebrated In Mexico, as well as in other Latin American countries. Nowadays, in many places in the United States, such as New York City, Día de Reyes is becoming a popular celebration, and children especially, look forward to it every year.

Día de los Reyes is celebrated on January 6th., 12 days after Christmas. It is often viewed as the last day of the Christmas season, or the end of the 12 Days of Christmas. Dia de Reyes commemorates the arrival in Bethlehem of the three Wise Men: Melchior, Gaspar,and Balthazar who followed the Star of Bethlehem bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the baby Jesus.

Children anxiously await waking up on January 6th. to find toys, and gifts left by the Reyes Magos (The Three Wise Men). In some regions, it is customary to leave out shoes in which treasures may be deposited by the visiting Wise Men.

The Dia de los Reyes is celebrated with a merienda (a light supper) consisting of hot chocolate, and the “Rosca de Reyes” which is a huge oval sweet bread with dry fruit decorations, and sprinkled with sugar on top. Inside the bread, there is a ceramic doll which represents Baby Jesus.

The person who gets the piece of bread with the baby, must be the Godparent of Baby Jesus in the celebration of the Candelaria (Day Of Purification) on February 2nd., This is the day when the Nativity Scenes are put away, and the 2 months long celebration comes to an end.

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