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Reyes Magos

During Christmas Spain has a beautiful festivity finally which is probably as important as Christmas day. Los Reyes magos (in English they are known as three Wise Men, Three Kings, or Kings from the East) is a day celebrated by all the Spaniards on the 6th of January as remembrance of the 3 wise men (represented on the new testament of the bible) after the birth of Jesus, would come from foreign countries to pay homage and give him symbolic gifts of great wealth: gold, frankincense and myrrh. Although in Spain and other Spanish countries are called as Reyes Magos (Magic kings) The Gospel only speaks of magicians, nowhere indicates that they were kings. This belief appeared several centuries later and has remained in the folk tradition. Nether they names are mention in the gospel.

Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings): Although the Bible says that there were three gifts given by the “wise men” to baby Jesus, the first specific reference to the number of Kings gives Origen, a prominent ecclesiastical writer in the fourth century.  In the fith century, Pope Leo I the Great established officially  3 as the number of Wise man for all Christendom. In mid-sixth century, the church of St. Apollinaris Nuovo in Ravenna (Italy) were assigned the names “Melchor, Gaspar “and ” Belshazzar “.According to legend, their remains were found in the Cathedral of Cologne, Germany, where the called Shrine of the Three Kings.

In Spain, compared with the recent introduction of Santa Claus in the Christmas custom due to the influence of American culture and foreign countries, it is traditional for Christmas gifts to children they may bring the Kings the night of 5 to 6 January. Before, the children must send a letter to the king asking for the presents they want and indicate the credit for those who deserve to receive gifts. On the night of January 5th children must leave their shoes in the house somewhere. The next day the gifts are there, or in the case of being bad, coal instead. During the evening of the 5th towns all over Spain celebrate La cabalgata de Reyes, a big parade where the kings arrive on floats to the towns throughing sweets and entertaining children. On the 6th children open their presents an there is traditional family meal that ends with a traditional cake call Roscon de Reyes.

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