Today is El Dia de los Reyes Magos. In English, it’s usually called Three Kings’ Day. Although neither of those terms means much in the United States, in Latin America this occasion is a big deal.
It’s the final celebration of the Christmas season, designed to commemorate the evening when the three kings arrived at the manger to present baby Jesus with their gifts. It’s never been explained to me why Mary and Joseph hung out for almost two weeks in a dirty manger with an infant, waiting for these guys to show up. Nor do I know what use a baby has for frankincense. But there are far more serious incongruities in religion, so we’ll let it pass.
The point is that this day is marked with feasts, gifts, and general good times throughout Latin America. It may also be the basis for that rather confusing reference to the twelfth day of Christmas (opinions vary). And like all things Latino, it is slowly gaining a foothold here in the United States, with many people celebrating this once-exotic holiday and bringing it to the attention of the majority culture. And we can all use a little more celebrating, after all.
It also happens to be my birthday… just thought I’d mention that.