By: Edwin Martinez
For most of us, the holiday season is now behind us. However, for many in the Christian Community the celebration continues. They consider January 6th Three Kings Day an even bigger celebration than Christmas Day.
On January 6, 2018 at The Pucho Olivencia in Buffalo, The President of the Pucho Olivencia center and boards members teamed up with Mayor Byron Brown and Councilman David Rivera to continue the Christian tradition of Three Kings Day. Wilmer Olivencia, President of the Pucho Board and one of the organizers said: Our Three Kings celebration is getting bigger and better every year, helping hundreds of kids and their families every year with gifts, and that’s what this event is all about, to show the spirit of our community”
Over five hundred children attended the event, which began with a light meal, entertainment and gifts for all the children.
For many Christians, the holiday season doesn’t officially end until the 12th day of Christmas known as the “Feast of the Epiphany” or “Three Kings' Day”.
The holiday marks the biblical adoration of baby Jesus by the three Kings, also referred to as three Wise Men or Magi. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the men found the divine child by following a star across the desert for twelve days to Bethlehem. Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar -- representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa respectively -- travelled by horse, camel, and elephant in order to present baby Jesus with three symbolic gifts.
The gold offered by one of the wise men is a symbolic acknowledgment of Jesus’ royal standing as “King of the Jews,” while the frankincense manifests the divine nature of the baby’s existence, since he is not an earthly king but the Son of God. And finally the myrrh, often used to embalm corpses, was gifted to the newborn as a symbol of Jesus’ mortality -- foreshadowing his death as a means to cleanse humanity of its sins.
Reyes festivities come in different shapes and sizes across the globe from community parades to three-day celebrations at Disneyland. In Puerto Rico, Mexico and many Spanish speaking countries, thousands gather every year to taste a mile-long “Rosca de Reyes” (Kings’ Bread) while others simply make the holiday staple at home honoring the tradition to hide a baby Jesus figurine within the bread -- the person whose slice has the figurine must prepare a fest for everyone on the Day of the Candles on Feb. 2!