Three Wise Men

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Today we are getting for our beloved celebration of Los Tres Santos Reyes Magos (Three Wise Men).
The Rosario-Kilmer family will prepared a traditional Puerto Rican Christmas meal – arroz con gandules (rice with pigeon peas) and perníl asado (roasted pork shoulder).
 
 Los Tres Reyes are the main bearers of Christmas gifts for most latin americans. That is taking in consideration that while Christmas is over in the USA, most of us latinos still partying and enjoying the celebration on the Incarnation.  
 
In the afternoon my kids will participate in a tradition which I always loved and brought magic to my Christmas’ celebrations. With shoe boxes in hand we will go out to the yard to pick up grass for the camels which come with the Reyes Magos tonight. The boxes full of grass will be left under my kids bed for the Reyes to take to the camels which have been traveling from a very long distance and by now must be hungry.
In the morning, my kids will look under their bed and will see that the grass is all gone, but their will be something special under their beds instead, los regalos-the gifts!
 
 

In SpainMexicoCubaPuerto Rico and some other Latin American countries Epiphany day is called El Día de los Reyes (The Day of the Kings), i.e., the day when a group of Kings or Magi, as related in the second chapter of the gospel of Matthew, arrived to worship and bring three gifts to the baby Jesus after following a star in the heavens. This day is sometimes known as the Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (The day of the Three Royal Magi) or La Pascua de los Negros (Holy Day of the Blackmen) in Chile, although the latter is rarely heard. In Spanish tradition, on the day of January 6th, three of the Kings: Melchor, Gaspar, and Balthazar, representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa, arrived on horse, camel and elephant, bringing respectively gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus.In Spain, Argentina, and Uruguay, children (and many adults) polish and leave their shoes ready for the Kings’ presents before they go to bed on the 5th of January. Sweet wine, nibbles, fruit and milk are left for the Kings and their camels. In Mexico, it is traditional for children to leave their shoes on the eve of January 6 by the family nativity scene or by their beds. Also a letter with toy requests is left and sometimes the shoes are filled with hay for the camels, so that the Kings will be generous with their gifts. In Puerto Rico, it is traditional for children to fill a box with grass or hay and put it underneath their bed, for the same reasons. In some parts of northern Mexico the shoes are left under the Christmas tree with a letter to the Three Kings. This is analogous to children leaving mince pies or cookies and milk out for Father Christmas in Western Europe.

 

 
 

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