What is 3 Kings Day And When/ How Do We Celebrate It?

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A Bit About 3 Kings Day

Epiphany is a Christian feast day that honors God's revelation manifesting in the person of Jesus Christ. It is also referred to as Theophany in Eastern Christian traditions.

Quick Facts About 3 Kings Day

Date: Friday, January 6, 2023
Related to:
Epiphanytide; Christmastide; Christmas; Baptism of the Lord; Nativity of Christ
Also called:
Baptism of Jesus, Three Kings Day, Denha, Little Christmas, Theophany, Timkat, Reyes
Observed by: Christians

The Biblical Story That Inspired The Day

The occasion honors the Magi's or the three kings' adoration of the infant Jesus in the Bible.

What is 3 Kings Day

  • The men traveled for 12 days in the desert, according to the Gospel of Matthew, to find the infant Jesus in a manger.
  • The union of the three monarchs, who stood for Europe, Arabia, and Africa, was a metaphor for unification.
  • One's gift of gold is a recognition of Jesus' royal status. Frankincense emphasizes the baby's existence as the “Son of God,” which is divine.

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Myrrh was used to embalm corpses, representing Jesus' mortality and the fact that he would eventually die to atone for humanity's sins.

The Customs Underlying Three Kings Day

The 12th day of Christmas is observed in many ways around the world and has its unique traditions.

What is 3 Kings Day

  • It is typical to see parades and festivities on this day in Spain, where the celebration is called Da de Los Reyes.

Some People Burn Their Christmas Trees in Large Bonfires on This Day

  • The kids love robbing the tree of its cookies, chocolate decorations, and sugar plums after it has been pulled down.
  • It is customary for kids to line up their shoes outside the house in European houses so that the three kings will know where to leave gifts.
  • The gift-giving season lasts until the 12th day of Christmas for those who observe Three Kings Day. The three kings occasionally bring more presents than Santa.
  • The “Rosca de Reyes,” a type of king cake, is served as dessert on this day throughout South America.
  • One of the guests must make tamales for everyone on the Day of the Candles, which is on February 2, if they locate the plastic figurine of Jesus hidden inside their piece of the cake.

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Many American households still practice this custom in New Orleans.

When and How is Three Kings Day Celebrated?

Even though Christmas and New Year's have passed, the holiday season is still in full swing.

What is 3 Kings Day

  • The Twelve Days of Christmas, also known as the Feast of the Epiphany or Three Kings Day, fall on January 6 for many Christians in Spain and Latin America.
  • The occasion honors the biblical story in which the Three Kings, also known as the Three Wise Men, pay a visit to the newborn Jesus.
  • The three Kings in Matthew's Gospel go across the desert for twelve days in search of the infant Jesus.
  • According to the Gospel, the three Kings, Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar, went to Bethlehem to bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the infant Jesus.
  • The Three Magi from the East arrived in Jerusalem during the reign of King Herod when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and they inquired, “The one who was born King of the Jews is nowhere to be found.
  • We came to worship him after spotting his star in the east, “the story goes.
  • The Three Kings' gifts to Jesus were intended to be symbolic. The idea that Jesus was the Jewish King was connected to gold.
  • Today, churches frequently burn frankincense as a symbol of the divinity of Jesus and the fact that people would come to worship him as the Son of God.
  • Myrrh, a fragrant substance occasionally used to embalm corpses, stood in for Jesus' ultimate suffering and death. Each item symbolized a different aspect of the baby's future.
  • Children receive their gifts today to commemorate Three Kings Day.
  • Children are taught to put their shoes by their front door so that the three kings, like Santa Claus, can leave them gifts throughout Spain and Latin America.
  • Like the milk and cookies youngsters leave for Santa Clause around Christmas, many families also give presents of salt or grass for the camels that the Three Kings are fabled to ride in on.
  • On Three Kings Day, parades and concerts are also common. Three Kings Day is just as significant and honored by families in Spain and Latin America as Christmas.
  • A mile-long “Rosca del Rey,” a sweet bread supposed to resemble a king's crown, is made by bakers in Mexico.
  • Crowds of people line the streets to grab a slice of the special festival bread. Frequently, a baby Jesus doll is concealed inside the bread.
  • Parades are held all around Spain before Three Kings' Day, and crowds of people fill the streets to witness them.

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Numerous Latino communities in the United States also honor the Three Kings.

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