Thursday, January 05, 2006

Día de Los Tres Reyes Magos

I admire the three kings for being willing to look to the stars for answers and being able to follow their hearts in search of wisdom. -erica

Three Kings Day, Treasured Tradition
by Maria T. Padilla
January 2, 2000
Copyright © 2000 THE ORLANDO SENTINEL. All Rights Reserved.

For Orlando's Hispanic community, the holiday season isn't over until the Three Kings arrive.

That takes place on Jan. 6, the day that, according to the biblical story, three wise men bearing gifts for baby Jesus followed a star to his manger.

In Hispanic countries, Three Kings Day marks the climax of the holiday season, the day when children receive the most gifts.

Jose Francisco Roman, owner of Plaza Gigante grocery in southeast Orlando, agrees. "Christmas has passed for Americans, but Hispanics can go on until octavitas," said Roman, referring to Jan. 8, the last day of celebration for revelers.

Roman said customers are buying more traditional items, including cider, candy, coconut milk for eggnog, and rice and pork.

Puerto Ricans, who make up half of Central Florida's Hispanics, are the likeliest to celebrate, said Sanchez, who is from the Dominican Republic.

But Three Kings Day is not just for Hispanics.

The holiday also is celebrated as far away as the Philippines and France. The French bake a cake with a surprise inside, a tradition also maintained by Mexicans and Spaniards. In the Philippines, people display star lanterns on their windows.

John H. Hopkins, Jr. (1820-1891)

We three kings of Orient are;Bearing gifts we traverse afar,Field and fountain, moor and mountain,Following yonder star.


O star of wonder, star of light,Star with royal beauty bright,Westward leading, still proceeding,Guide us to thy perfect light.
Born a King on Bethlehem’s plainGold I bring to crown Him again,King forever, ceasing never,Over us all to reign.


Frankincense to offer have I;Incense owns a Deity nigh;Prayer and praising, voices raising,Worshipping God on high.


Myrrh is mine, its bitter perfumeBreathes a life of gathering gloom;Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,Sealed in the stone cold tomb.


Glorious now behold Him arise;King and God and sacrifice;Alleluia, Alleluia,Sounds through the earth and skies.


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