Prof. Colleen Finzel
30 September 2013
El Dia De Los Reyes
We’ve all heard of the Christmas holiday and what it’s about. Santa, the reindeer, the North Pole, toys, and elves; whenever you hear these words you think of Christmas time. But what if instead of Santa there were three kings? What if instead of reindeer there were camels and horses? Spanish speaking countries like Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Spain all celebrate a special day similar to Christmas called El Dia De Los Tres Reyes Magos. Translated in English that means “The Three Kings Day” or “The Three Wise Men”.
This holiday dates all the way back to the New Testament where it says that the three kings, Melchor, Gaspar, and Balthasar, traveled thousands of miles a night to bring gifts to the son of God, Jesus. The Three Kings are celebrated on the 6th of January, although it wasn’t until 1885 when the Spanish government called for a parade to mark this day. All three kings arrived 12 days after the birth of Jesus (December 25). It is believed that the 12 days of Christmas end on December 25, but in reality, they end on January 6, because it took the kings 12 days to reach Jesus. The kings came bearing three types of gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Melchor was the sultan, or ruler, of Arabia. He was the oldest of the Magi that wore graceful crimson robes bearing gold to Jesus. Gaspar, covered in gold, was Emperor of the Orient who brought frankincense to Jesus. Frankincense was a pungent gum, extracted from a tree in Arabia, given to Kings and symbolized prayer. It was also burned in temples to honor God. It is said that Gaspar was the king to travel the furthest to visit Jesus. Balthasar was a Nubian King/ ruler of Ethiopia clothed in lovely, elegant robes. His gift to Jesus was myrrh, which was an exquisite and scented gum that symbolized suffering. All of the kings came from different directions, following the
The Three Kings arriving into a town....