Saturday, January 5, 2008

Epiphany - Los Reyes Magos

Enjoy this traditional music for Los Reyes Magos, Epiphany

¡Ya Vienen Los Reyes Magos!
On January 6, most of the Hispanic world celebrates El Dia De Reyes, the Epiphany, remembering the day when the Three Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem, arrived bearing their treasured gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the Baby Jesus. In Mexico, on the night, of January 5, the figurines of the Three Wise Men are added to the nativity scene. Before going to bed the children place their old shoes under their bed or in the living room, where the Wise Men will leave them their presents. Some also place outside the house, some hay and a bucket with water for the animals, and even some cookies and milk for Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar.
You can feel the excitement building up! With twinkling eyes, the children eagerly, and constantly ask what time it is, wishing for time to fly so they could open their presents.

Reluctantly they go off to bed.

As soon as they wake up, which is earlier than any other day, they run to see the gifts that the Three Magi left for them. Happiness overflows every Mexican home.

The children spend the day playing and admiring each other’s presents, sharing them with friends, talking about how they were able to hear or see the Reyes Magos when they arrived at their home, how one of them heard the camel’s footsteps, how the other saw a shining crown in the dark night!

Meanwhile, adults prepare for the Merienda de Reyes, an early evening dinner that friends and families share to celebrate the Epiphany. Here in my corner of the world, a new Hispanic restaurant down the street from the Rescue Mission, Madre, opened their doors to host a Three Kings buffet for the women and children of the Mission, free of charge,in the spirit of giving as the Three Kings gave and to open the door to a cultural tradition. Those I saw as they came in last night, really enjoyed the experience.

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