During the Christmas season, Noche Buena has always been the most important part of our Christmas festivity and for my husband, it is Christmas Day itself. Since having children and deciding to raise them bilingually, we’ve since decided to incorporate this celebration into our seasonal traditions as well.
The Feast of the Three Kings also known as the Epiphany takes place every year on January 6th. In many part of Latin America, it is an important part of this holiday season. Christmas is reserved for the joy of the birth of the Baby Jesus, and for the gift of hope represented by this event. Traditionally, Three King’s Day is very important, especially for children, for it is on this eve that they will receive their gifts. On the feast of the Epiphany, the Three kings visited the newly born Christ Child in Bethlehem bearing him gifts. This tradition is repeated and reflected in present day with the belief that on this eve the 3 Kings will visit every good child to deliver them gifts. Tradition states that on the Eve of the Epiphany children collect hay, straw or grass and place it in boxes or containers under their beds. This gesture is a gift of food for the Kings' Horses while they rest in between deliveries. Note:(we have no Camels in PR). If a child is good for the past year he will receive candies, sweets or toys. If the child was misbehaved or naughty he would instead find a lump of dirt or charcoal in his box. This tradition is much older than that of Santa's visit on Christmas Eve.
Do you celebrate Three King's Day? How is it celebrated in your family?