Three Kings Day celebration held at Pucho Olivencia Center in Buffalo

Hundreds of Western New Yorkers gathered in Buffalo for a Three King’s Day celebration. The holiday is also known as Epiphany. It celebrates the three wise men’s visit to baby Jesus.

Saturdays event benefited low-income families, some of whom won several prized including toys, electronics, bicycles, TVs, and gift cards.

Organizers said this celebration is a great way to keep Hispanic traditions alive in Buffalo and putting a smile on families during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

“This is a joyous occasion to these families who can really use it,”  said Wilmer Olivencia Jr., Board President of Olivencia Community Center

This was the 42th year event has been held at the Olivencia Community Center.

For most of us, the holiday season ends January 1st. However, for many in the Christian Community the celebration continues. They consider January 6th Three Kings Day an even bigger celebration than Christmas Day.

Close to a thousand children benefit annually thru this event and our partners efforts. The celebration usually begin with a light meal, entertainment and gifts for all the children. This years because of COVID 19, the event practiced Social distancing, Mask Wearing and Sanitizing to insure the safety of everyone involved. Likewise, The Pucho Center will be partnered with Holy Cross church, Price of Peace Church, The Puerto Rican and Hispanic day Parade,  and others to expand giving and meet the growing needs of the community at various sites.

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!

Panorama Hispano is the regional news and information newspaper for Hispanic and other diverse communities.

US Hispanics are now the largest ethnic minority in the United States numbering 54.2 million as of July 2014. Serving: Buffalo, Rochester, Fredonia, Niagara Falls, NY and Erie, PA. Outside our Market area: Visit our affiliate at: http://www.impremedia.com/

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