The evening of January 5th, kids leave an empty shoe outside for the Kings or put a box of grass, corn, or other camel food under their beds, expecting to wake up to some small token.
Three Kings Day (or “El Día de los Reyes Magos”) is celebrated on January 6, or the Epiphany, which marks the day when Catholics believe The Three Wise Men delivered gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold to the baby Jesus.
Parades feature live camels and Latino kids with plastic crowns, who march down major urban avenues with their parents watching on proudly.
So will Three Kings Day slowly disappear among U.S. Latinos? Syndicated columnist and City University of New York professor Miguel Pérez recently dedicated a column worrying about just that. “To many people who once believed in you, you are merely figurines now,” ” he wrote, addressing the Magi.
The El Museo Del Barrio in New York City hosts a Three Kings Day parade for the past 34 years. Thursday morning, she expects over 3,000 teachers and kids to come enjoy the artist-designed paper maché puppets, live music, “and yes, three live camels.”
People wait to be served a slice of an oversized version of bread known as the Rosca de Reyes or Three Kings Bread, traditionally eaten on Three Kings Day in downtown Mexico City.
No reindeer. No Santa Claus. No problem. The three wise men are celebrated throughout Latin America in many different forms but some fear Three Kings Day could slowly disappear among U.S. Latinos.