06 January, 2009

Feliz Día de Reyes/The End of The Twelve Days of Christmas

January 6th, the day after the end of the Twelve Days Of Christmas, is called the Epiphany. The period between Christmas and Epiphany is the twelve tide. On this day the Wise men or Magi arrived to  Bethlehem to pay their respects and to honor Baby Jesus. They come bearing gifts: frankincense, gold,and myrrh. This tradition is very popular in Catholic countries. 

Nowadays, the arrival of the Wise men to the manger is also remembered by having Rosca de Reyes (king cake) and hot chocolate.  Just be careful when eating the Rosca de Reyes, you may get a surprise, a "baby". The Mexican tradition says that if you get the baby, you provide the tamales on February 2nd, on the Calendaria Day.

Another tradition in Mexico  is for kids to leave their polished shoe by the window on the eve of January 6 (on the night of 12th day of Christmas). If you have been good, the Magi will leave behind presents for the kids, usually toys. If you are lucky you may get a gift from each one of the kings: Caspar, Melchoir, and Balthasar. 
This day marks the end of the Christmas season, people take down Christmas decorations after this day.

If you are interested in learning more about the Día de Reyes, visit these sites:
Epiphany: 1, 2.
Twelve Days of Christmas 1, 2.

If you are not too busy today, don't hesitate to stop by mi casa and have some rosca and chocolate with me.  
Feliz Día de Reyes

Make sure to read Part 2 here

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