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The Significance of Three Kings Day and How to Celebrate It

Three Kings Day, also known as Epiphany, is more than just a celebration akin to Christmas. In fact, for people all over the world, it signifies the culmination of the entire Christmas season. Three Kings Day commemorates the visit of the three wise men—the Magi—to Jesus on January 6. As the story recounts, the Magi followed a new star that led them to the Christ child in Bethlehem. At its core, this holiday is about faith, hope, and generosity. Here are a few ways you can embrace the joy and spirit of Three Kings Day:


  1. Celebrate at a procession

Many cities around the world, including some in the United States, commemorate Three Kings Day with colorful parades and processions where participants hand out candy, play music, and dress up as the three wise men to reenact their biblical journey.


  1. Attend a church service

Since Three Kings Day is a Christian observation, you can attend Mass or a worship service at your local church to commemorate the visit of the Magi to to the newly born Christ child.


  1. Enjoy King’s Cake

King’s Cake, or Rosca de Reyes, is a delicious culinary tradition you’re sure to see at any Three Kings Day party. It’s a traditional sweetbread in the shape of a wreath that is meant to resembles a king’s crown. Besides the delicious taste, there could be something else hidden in your slice of the cake. Traditionally, a small baby figurine is hidden in the cake, representing Baby Jesus. The person who finds the figurine must throw a party for friends and family!


  1. Exchange gifts

Many families in Hispanic countries celebrate Three Kings Day by giving gifts. They do this in remembrance of the gifts the three wise men brought to Baby Jesus. Customarily, children would write letters to the Three Kings, not Santa, to ask them for presents. Today, however, most families give gifts on both Christmas and Three Kings Day.


  1. Feed the camels

One of the best-loved Three Kings Day traditions is leaving straw and water outside for the camels ridden by the Magi, just like many children do for Santa’s reindeer. This symbolic gesture can also be accompanied by children leaving out their shoes in hopes of finding a sweet treat from the three kings the next morning.



By Kelli Drummer-Avendano


Also read:

Hold On Holidays – There’s Still Three Kings Day

Three Kings Day – Resources for your Spanish Classroom



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