Tune in to Nick Jr. on Sunday, 1/6 at 9:30 pm ET !
On January 6, children throughout Latin America and in many places around the world celebrate Epiphany, also known as Three Kings Day or Dia de los Reyes Magos. This Christian holiday celebrates the arrival of the Three Kings, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa, to welcome and bring gifts to the baby Jesus. According to tradition, the Kings (or wise men) saw the star of Bethlehem appear in the sky on what is now celebrated as Christmas night and recognized it as a sign that the Christ child had been born. They followed the star for 12 days and arrived in Bethlehem to meet him--hence the Twelve Days of Christmas.
Depending on the part of the world in which you celebrate Three Kings Day, traditions will vary slightly. But all children look forward to receiving presents from the Three Kings! Kids write letters to the Kings with their wish list. On the eve of Three Kings Day, the Kings travel around the world by horse, camel, or elephant. Children leave their shoes or shoe boxes with grass and water for the animals by their bed or under the Christmas tree. When they wake up they find the grass replaced with presents and treats from the Kings!
There are many fun ways to celebrate Three Kings Day. Families have parties and early dinners with special treats including a festive sweet cake in the shape of a King's crown called Rosca de Reyes, or King Cake. Everyone sings songs and celebrates together. While Three Kings Day is not a national holiday in the United States, areas with large Latino communities like New York, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles host large celebrations and parades every year.