Sunday, January 6

Día de los Tres Reyes Magos

Today is Three Kings Day. What does that mean? El Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos is a Commonwealth of Puerto Rico official holiday, as well as a religious holiday. It celebrates the Three Wise Men's visit to see the newborn Christ by exchanging gifts. Traditionally, children stack bundles of hay in boxes and glasses of water for each King's camel, to then find their boxes exchanged for gifts. (Sounds familiar? Milk and cookies for Santa?) This is also done in Cuba and several other Latin American countries. In the Eastern church a variety of different names are given for the three, but in the West the names have been settled since the 8th century as Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. Also, Latinos don't take off their Christmas decorations until after January 6th, when some believe the three kings have arrived to Jesus, hence ending the celebration. In Miami, Florida; there is a parade called the Tres Reyes Magos parade on Calle Ocho (8th street) in Little Havana. Floats and activity has decrease through the years, due to lack of funds and interest. Sometimes certain aunts and uncles, neighbors and other family members that forgotten children in Christmas give presents to kids on this day.

United Press Internaitonal talks about how retailers are embracing it.
(Why would they have a problem with it? More money!)