6 January 2010

The day of the kings

January 6th is a special day in many countries and cultures--and is celebrated with various traditions all over the world.

The Christian holiday known as The Epiphany is celebrated each year on January 6th. The holiday is a feast that began to commemorate the introduction of Jesus in human form—the specific date of January 6th was first mentioned in 361.

Eastern Christians believe that The Epiphany was the day Christ was baptized in the Jordan River, while Western Christians believe the day commemorates the day the Magi (also known as the Three Kings and Three Wiseman) visited the baby Jesus Christ bringing gifts.

Many countries celebrate January 6th as Three King’s Day, celebrating the day Melchor, Gaspar, and Balthazar visited Jesus as a child bringing gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

In Spain, the Philippines, and certain parts of Latin America, El Día de los Reyes (The Day of the Kings) is celebrated with children leaving shoes out overnight to collect gifts from the Kings and sweets, drink, and hay as a gift for the Kings and their camels. A special cake known as Rosca de Reyes is made with a small doll of Jesus baked inside—depending on the country, the finder of the doll must pay for the cake, host a party later in the year, or simply serves as king for the day.
In the Netherlands and Belgium, the day is known as Drie koningen (Three King’s Day). Three children dress in costume to represent the three kings and visit houses singing songs, receiving sweets or coins from each door. German children also visit houses singing songs dressed as the three kings, but leave behind the initials of the three kings above the door frames to bless the family for the new year.

1 comment:

Madalena said...

I like this day. I like this post. Thanks, Ant!!!!!