Today we celebrate the El Dia de los Reyes (Day of the Holy Kings – Feast of the Solemnity of the Epiphany). It is a religious observance and not a federal public holiday in Latin American countries. In addition to getting presents from baby Jesus on Christmas Eve, Latin American children receive gifts from the three wise kings (Reyes Magos) on January 6.
Children in Latin America and Spain receive the majority of their gifts from the Three Kings rather than from Santa Claus at Christmas. On the night of January 5th, children leave one of their shoes outside the door along with grass and water for the camels. The next day, children wake up to numerous gifts left by the three kings or the “reyes magos”.
Sometimes the three wise men are referred to as “Los 3 Reyes Magos” (Three Magician Kings), which some believe were astronomers. Although they aren’t named in Scripture, the men received names in the early church: Gaspar, Melchor, and Balthazar.
Señor Jesús: que a imitación de los Magos de Oriente
vayamos también nosotros frecuentemente
a adorarte en tu Casa que es el Templo
y no vayamos jamás con las manos vacías.
Que te llevemos el oro de nuestras ofrendas,
el incienso de nuestra oración fervorosa,
y la mirra de los sacrificios que hacemos para permanecer fieles a Ti,
y que te encontremos siempre junto a tu Madre Santísima María,
a quien queremos honrar y venerar siempre
como Madre Tuya y Madre nuestra.