The Three Wise Men Day Dia de Reyes
After New Year’s Day, Mexican families still have a very special date to commemorate and enjoy. 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.
The Reyes Magos In La Alameda
A couple of days earlier, the children write their letters to the Wise Men, or to their favorite Rey Mago: Melchor, Gaspar, or Baltasar, asking for the presents they would like to receive.
During the evenings before the great celebration on January 6, families go to the Alameda, in Mexico City, a beautiful park that dates back to the Colonial era. There, every year, hundreds of stands are placed with food, toys and best of all, there are sets, where the children can have their picture taken with the Three Kings of the Orient.
Hundreds of multicolored balloons, filled with helium, are sold during the season, so the little ones can attach their letters to them, and have them fly, up to the sky, carrying all their wishes with them.
If they forgot their letters at home, there is no need to worry, there are also salesmen that offer writing paper and envelopes specially designed for the occasion and addressed to the Reyes Magos. This lovely tradition of going to the Alameda park is passed on from one generation to another. I have a picture of my husband, when a small child, with the Reyes Magos, set on a photo-album alongside some photographs of my children with them.
January 6, Dia de Reyes
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.
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