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Three Kings Day or Día de Los Reyes
We are still celebrating on the island of Puerto Rico with the holiday of The Epiphany , Three Kings Day or in Spanish Dia de Los Reyes, which is January 6th. The Epiphany is celebrated throughout certain European countries, Latin American countries, and those in certain Caribbean islands like Puerto Rico! As children we are told to put hay under our beds in a box so when the Three Kings come to leave gifts, their camels will have something to eat. The Epiphany is a religious holiday where Kings Balthazar, Melchior, and Gaspar traveled to bring gifts to Baby Jesus by following the North Star. For more historical facts you can go here.
Puerto Rico’s Three Kings Caravan
Last year Daniela was just days old when her grandparents, great-grandmother, and uncle came bearing gifts to receive her into this new tradition of celebrating The Epiphany. On Wednesday night we heard sirens and music playing around our neighborhood and we knew that the caravan of The Three Kings was close by.
As a gift to the boys and girls, the Mayor of the towns will have men dress up as the Three Kings, play music, and bring gifts in the form of balls and candy to the children. When we heard the caravan coming near our neighborhood, I went outside with Daniela and hurried down the street to see the Three Kings tossing treats for all. We actually waited to see them come back up the street and Daniela received a red ball and some candies. The best part was seeing Daniela dance to the tropical beats emanating from the huge speakers. Our dog JuanGa was super excited to see the ball bouncing about and Raul had to keep him calm.
Castillo Serrallés Ponce, Puerto Rico
Last night we joined Raul’s Uncle Irving and Grandmother Lydia in Ponce, Puerto Rico to take pictures with the Three Kings and tour the grounds of the old Castillo Serrallés. The Castillo Serrallés was once the house of a very prominent family in the town of Ponce, Puerto Rico. They are also the originators of creating Puerto Rican Rum called Don Q. The house sits atop of a mountain over looking the center of town or el pueblo. During the day you can see the ocean and at one point in time, the cargo ships coming into port from all over the world.
They had traditional Puerto Rican music which my daughter enjoyed. She was dancing as soon as we got to where the band was playing. They had popcorn for the kids, face painting, a table where you could write your wish to the Three Kings, access to the beautiful gardens, and a photo opportunity with the Three Kings. There was also a display of a Winter Wonderland inside of the Castillo Serrallés. It depicted the village from the Polar Express movie as was explained to us by the tour guide.
We were entertained by a musician and to end the evening, there was a show of lights coordinated by the staff who work at the Castillo Serrallés. As my daughter gets older, she will appreciate this tradition of the Three Kings as her Uncle Irving has an extensive collection between paintings and figurines.
Tonight we will decorate a box and fill it with some grass from the yard. We will put it under Daniela’s crib and count our blessings that our close family and friends celebrated the holidays this year with us in Puerto Rico.
As the holidays come to an end, what memories did you or your families enjoy the most?
What tradition(s) did you start with your children this year?