The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

The student news site of Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago, Illinois.

BEACON

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The Celebration of Three Kings Day

The+Celebration+of+Three+Kings+Day

It’s that time of the year again; the sound of joy (and Mariah Carey), the smell of desserts, the sight of presents, and the notion of a two-week break from school fills the air. The winter months are packed with holidays from various religions and cultures. One of these festivities is Three Kings Day. It is a Christian holiday celebrated in Latin America, the Caribbean, and some countries in Europe. Since this holiday is celebrated all over the world, there are many ways to celebrate it. After consulting with an expert (my grandmother), I gathered enough information to spotlight the celebration of Three Kings Day in the United States. 

First and foremost, I asked my grandmother, Rosa Ramirez, what Three Kings Day is and inquired about its significance. She explained, “The Three Kings celebration comes from the Epiphany in the Bible. It is celebrated on January 6th. Three Wise Men, (kings, also known as the Three Magi) who were astrologers in different countries followed a star that led them to Jesus. Each of the kings brought a gift for Jesus.”

For those wondering why Three Kings Day is celebrated twelve days after the birth of Jesus (when Christmas is celebrated); this is because the Three Kings arrived at Jesus’ nativity twelve days after he was born. Another fun fact: the gifts from the Three Kings were gold, frankincense, and myrrh; all symbols intended to portray Jesus’ life.

Additionally, the Three Kings are significant when it comes to chalking doors in order to bless houses. At the beginning of a new year, Christians mark doors with the year, along with the letters C, M, and B. These letters represent the names of the Three Kings: Casper, Melchior, and Balthasar.

Then, I asked her what people did to celebrate Three Kings Day. She said, “Children in multiple different countries gather grass or hay and place it in a box under their beds. The grass is for the camels who accompany the Kings. The Kings then leave gifts for the children in the place of the hay, similar to Santa Claus leaving gifts on December 24th.” Along with this, she recalls going on vacation to Puerto Rico as a child and participating in the tradition. She left grass and hay under her bed, and woke up to presents. “In Puerto Rico, many of the families still celebrate the Three Kings Tradition” (R. Ramirez). Overall, Three Kings Day is a holiday of significance to Christians, and it is celebrated in many places and in many different ways.

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