The day of the Three Wise Men, Los Reyes Magos, is one of the most important holidays and Christmas traditions for our Mexican-American family. After Christmas, we prepare for a visit from the Three Wise Men. In the Bible, it is said they follow the North Star to visit and bring gifts to the newborn King, arriving on January 6th with gifts for baby Jesus.
The day of the Three Wise Men is one I have celebrated since I was a baby, because my grandparents were firm believers that the Three Wise Men came to celebrate with us. They believed we too should celebrate the birth of the newborn King. Religious value plays a big part in my heritage.
The Day of the Three Wise Men is a tradition in Mexico; my father recalls leaving his shoes outside of his home to await the Three Wise Men, who filled his shoes with gifts. This holiday is one of the most celebrated in our culture still today. From Christmas to the 6th, our decor stays hanging and shining bright. Though we don’t leave our shoes out, we hang stockings to fill with treats and goodies.
To celebrate the Three Wise Men, my kids make crafts to learn about the three wise men, attend events for Reyes Magos celebrations, prepare stockings to be filled, and write a letter to los Reyes. Parents play a huge role in filling the stockings. In the morning we give thanks.
This is an important holiday and tradition to keep alive for my kids because it is part of our culture and the way I was brought up. The Three Wise Men are just as great as Santa. They are both Christmas traditions in our family and the celebrations are just as significant. My kids’ faces light up when we mention the celebration of the Three Wise Men, just as mine did as a child.