Friday, January 6, 2012

¡Feliz Día de los Reyes!

That's "Happy Three Kings Day!" in English (or literally, "Happy Day of the Kings"), aka, The Feast of the Epiphany, the traditional day when the three kings/magi/wise men arrived from the east to worship and bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Jesus. In countries that still celebrate it as a national holiday, such as Puerto Rico where my family is from, it's today, January 6th. In the U.S., the Catholic Church places it on the first Sunday after New Year's.

In the old country, Three Kings Day was the date when you exchanged gifts. In Puerto Rico, children put grass or hay under their beds when they go to sleep on January 5th and when they wake up in the morning there are gifts under their beds as a reward. That's how my father celebrated it back in Bayamon, his home town, but when he moved to the mainland U.S. he celebrated Christmas like we normally do.

Also, for those that might not know, the famous Twelve Days of Christmas is the period from December 25th, Christmas day, to the eve of the Epiphany, January 5th. So now, Christmastide is over and it's time to take down my decorations, which I always leave up until January 6th. It's also time to look forward to spring.

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