Three Kings Day in Puerto Rico or Epiphany
Three kings day in Puerto Rico is a holiday rooted in religion that puertorican people celebrate with gatherings, food, and gift giving, similar to Christmas. Los Reyes Magos (Spanish for the three kings), leave behind Santa Claus and introduce Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar. They are also known as the wise men. Three kings day is celebrated trhoughout the hispanic community on January 6th.
Three kings day is widely celebrated, but the celebrations have evolved throught the years. Today in Puerto Rico, the people celebrate with carnivals, parades, fairs, and feasts where locals and tourists alike join in the celebration. Many locals dress us themselves as the three kings and gift toys to the less fortunate.
How do they celebrate?
The celebration of this special day includes children gathering grass, straw or hay and in a shoebox for the Magi’s camels or horses. This is similar to the children in the US leaving milk and cookies for Santa Claus. Children that behave are promised a reward consisting of presents and candy, while naughty children run the risk of receiving dirt or coal. Again, this is similar to the Christmas celebrations around the world.
In Puerto Rico, one of the most popular subjects for arts and crafts are the three kings. You may find figurines made of wood and other materials in almost every souvenir shop in the island.
Where can I see the three magi?
The most famous impersonation of the three kings hail from the small town of Juana Diaz. There is a feast held yearly at the Governor’s mansion where the three kings make an appearance and toys are given out to every child that comes visit. Throughout the islands there are many celebrations. Perhaps the most important celebration of all comes from the one stemmed in each individual family, because tradition is passed on from parent to children.