While December 25th gets all the festive fanfare, January 6th marks another joyous occasion for Hispanic families. Mostly known as “Día de Reyes” or “Día de los Reyes Magos” in Spanish, Three Kings Day is mostly embraced by Christians, but along the way it has grown in many Hispanic American hearts despite its religious origins. 

Celebrating “Día de Reyes” is another way to celebrate children and their belief in magic and infinite possibilities. After Santa Claus has visited our homes, there are also Three Kings out there who want to give them something special and celebrate their lives and journey. 

But the stories about the Three Kings that gifted baby Jesus splendorous gifts and alerted José and María about the threats coming towards them are not what make the sixth day of January magical. What Latinos do during this festivity is what really makes it special and a beautiful tradition to pass down. 

Rosca de Reyes: The Ideal Treat To Start The Day!

No Three Kings Day feast is complete without the iconic Rosca de Reyes, a sweet bread ring symbolizing their journey. And its round shape is not random, it has a meaning, which is the infinite love that has no beginning and no end. Always a complete cycle. 

This delicious bread is studded with dried fruits and candied citrus, which also have a special role, representing the crowns and riches of the kings.

Last but not least, in Mexico there’s an extra addition to this dough. And that is hiding a tiny figurine of baby Jesus, representing José and María hiding from those who were hunting them. Whoever finds the figurine will be granted luck during the whole year and also has the honor to host a special celebration, like Candelaria Day or next year’s “Día de Reyes.”

Learn how to make a homemade Rosca de Reyes here

Three Camels And A Messy Welcome!

The Three Kings do not come alone. Like Santa Claus, they are supported by majestic animals. In this case, one camel for each of them. After all, they crossed the whole desert to find Jesus and his family. 

This date is the perfect excuse to celebrate our community with parades, costumed dancers, and even marching bands. It is a way of beginning the year by celebrating family and one’s journey (no matter if you are not a kid anymore!).

And camels represent that. They are the allies that make the journey possible and which are there despite the challenges. So, it is only fair to welcome these resilient and beautiful animals. 

When I was little, my mom used to tell me about the adventures the Three Kings and their camels have faced to make it to their destination. They were challenged by sand storms, kingdoms, and different beliefs. But they were heading somewhere special and magic was on their side. So, she used to tell me, you have to welcome them properly. 

The night before, we gathered around the table and planned our take in. We looked for fresh grass, and freshwater, and even made some cookies. I have lovely memories of that preparation, the anticipation, the intrigue, the stories that I still remember. 

And don’t forget the shoes! Yes, the kings and their camels need to eat, but they also need to find your shoes to know what gift corresponds to you!

I remember waking up every January 6th as a child and finding my shoes surrounded by small presents and a mess over the floor – grass and crumbs all over. After all, my mom insisted, they were hungry, happy, but also in a hurry!

A Treasure Hunt Fit For Royalty

Not all families celebrate Three Kings the same way. And that’s the beauty of it. You get to learn different ways of embracing this date. Like when you start a journey, we do not all take the same path. 

In many Latin American countries, you do not wait for the Reyes Magos to come, instead, there’s a treasure hunt! Clues are left by the Three Kings for children to follow, and gifts may be found throughout the house or outside in the garden. This interactive tradition adds a touch of magic and suspense to the day, making it a truly unforgettable experience.

At its core, Three Kings Day is a celebration of hope, faith, and the joy of giving. It’s a reminder that even the most challenging journeys can lead to beautiful destinations. So, embrace the vibrant traditions, let your creativity flow, and make this Three Kings Day a celebration to remember!! These are just three ideas to help you boost your imagination but dare to add your special touch to it. After all, it is about celebrating life and those who love us enough to be part of our journey. 

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