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1.05.2012

Star of Wonder

Star of wonder, star of night
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading, still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect Light.

-- Rev. John Henry Hopkins, Jr.

Tonight, just as I have every January 5th since I was a little girl, I'll be leaving a small pile of hay + a bowl of water on our front step. In Hispanic culture, it's the equivalent of putting out milk + cookies for Santa. Except instead of a visit from Old St. Nick, tonight I'll be expecting Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar... Los Tres Reyes Magos -- the Three Wise Men or Three Kings. {The hay + water are for their camels, of course!}

We celebrate Three Kings Day -- January 6th -- in observance of the Epiphany, the day on which the men finally arrived at Bethlehem where Jesus was and worshipped Him as the Christ. In the Gospel of Matthew, it is written that they traveled from the East and followed a star. This is why our Christmas tree is still up! Without its star, how will they find their way tonight?

The Three Kings each brought Jesus a gift: gold, frankincense + myrrh. They always leave a small present at our house, too. One of my all-time favorites from them was the Miami Sound Machine's "Primitive Love" cassette I got when I was seven. {I'm OLD folks!} C'mon, shake your body baby, do the conga! haha

Anyway, one of the best events this time of year is the Three Kings Parade here in Little Havana. Thousands of people come out to watch the floats, marching bands, local celebrities + the Three Kings themselves {with their camels!} make their way down Calle Ocho. So much fun!

Well, there you have it! A little look at our family tradition that officially wraps up the Christmas season in our home. Do you have any special family or cultural traditions associated with the Holidays?

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5 comments:

  1. I've heard of 3 kings day, but we didnt celebrate it growing up. It's really interesting to hear about the traditions you guys have. I love that you put hay and water out front of your house!

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  2. Three Kings day at our house always just marked the say we'd wait for before we'd take our decorations down. I love your tradition much more :)

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  3. I love that you celebrate 3 Kings Day! My favorite holiday tradition that's unique in my childhood was La Posada. Similar to the way it's celebrated in Mexico, there'd be a candelight procession with luminaries lighting all of the old adobes in town and a real live donkey with Mary and Joseph. And then you'd end up in a huge room with hundreds of pinatas to hit at the end. :) I want to light the luminaries with Miss L next year on our porch from Dec 16th til Christmas Eve ;)

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  4. I love this! It made me smile to read this, and I hope you have a great Three Kings Day!

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