Wednesday, January 6, 2010

El Día de los Reyes

In English, it means “The Day of the Kings,” in Catholic parlance, the Feast of the Epiphany when the three kings/magi/wise men arrived to worship and bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the baby Jesus. It’s the “real” Christmas in Spain and many Latin American countries, including that of my parents, Puerto Rico. “Real” as in, that’s when everyone would receive presents. For me as a kid growing up in the Bronx, Three Kings Day meant the last day we had the Christmas tree up.

What I didn’t know until recently (shame on me) was that Three Kings Day bookmarks the Twelve Days of Christmas, aka, Christmastide. The First Day is Christmas itself on December 25 and the Twelfth Day is January 5. For some reason, I thought the Twelve Days (and the famous song), led up to Christmas rather than follow it.

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