Most countries, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, celebrate the arrival of Santa Claus on December 25. Others have another magical day, January 6: the arrival of the Three Wise Men.
If something is true, it is the multiculturalism we have in the world, even in a universal celebration like Christmas. Our beliefs, cults, upbringing, and ways of living are unique in each country.
Today is the closing of the Christmas celebration with the arrival of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem from the East. They come with a single purpose, which is to welcome the newborn, the king of kings: the child Jesus. With their visit, they brought as gifts gold, frankincense, and myrrh, objects of great value in the 'ancient world'.
But, do we know where this celebration comes from?
It is in the Gospel of St. Matthew, their names are not known, nor is it mentioned that there were three of them. The bible says that they were guided to the stable by a star to worship the king of the Jews, Jesus, who had just been born. These kings were baptized until the Middle Ages as Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthasar.
What many of us think, is that their offerings to Jesus are related to the tradition of giving gifts on this day, and no. However, today, January 6, Catholics celebrate the Epiphany, a feast that in Greek means 'manifestation’. In this case, it is related to the birth of the Child Jesus, this is the reason for the giving of gifts on a day like today.
How is this day celebrated?
Not many countries celebrate it, but Spain, for example, has it as a fundamental tradition of this season. On January 5, children leave their letters hoping to receive gifts the next day brought by the wise men. There are even parades where they are personified, which creates more belief in the little ones.
There is also a tradition in several countries where this day is celebrated. One tradition is to eat the roscón de Reyes. In Mexico, they have the peculiarity of buying or preparing these roscas, and inside is a Baby Jesus. When they eat it, whoever gets the child must invite the whole family to eat tamales.
This is a festivity and tradition that is maintained in Venezuela, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, and Cuba. It is also celebrated in the Philippines, which was a Spanish colony. As a peculiarity, in the Philippines, star-shaped lamps are placed in the windows of houses. Can you imagine that spectacle?
While some celebrate it and others do not, I think it is important to know and promote the culture and tradition. I hope that if you did not know about this date, you liked what I shared with you here, and if you know of more customs on this day, let me know!
A hug and today Latinos, let's vibrate beautifully.