Día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day), otherwise known as the Feast of Epiphany, is the final celebration of the 12 days of Christmas, which end on Jan. 6. Many Christians across Europe, Spain and Latin America celebrate this holiday because it is believed that on this day, three wise men — Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthasar — presented baby Jesus with symbolic gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The three kings represented Europe, Arabia and Africa, and their coming together was symbolic of worldwide unity.
Alejandro Parra Ferrer, senior manager for Distribution Services at the Disneyland Resort, has celebrated this holiday for as long as he can remember. “The three kings had a sign, the star, that they were going to bring to the new king that was coming. [The star] was an expression of the excitement and gratitude in welcoming the new king of the world,” Alejandro said. “When I celebrate this, I’m not just celebrating the Latino community — it’s about celebrating other friends in the community as well.”
Because this holiday is celebrated around the world, different cultures have their own unique traditions. In parts of South America and Mexico, for example, this day is celebrated with a Rosca de Reyes cake.
“My wife’s family does a Rosca — a round bread with a whole in the middle — and we will put a little baby Jesus in the middle to represent the three kings. Everyone has a knife, except the little ones of course, and you cut a piece to see who will get baby Jesus. If you get it, that means you’re going to have a year of wealth. Then, 40 days after the Jan. 6 celebration, the ones who got the baby Jesus cook for the rest of their family as a way of showing gratitude,” Alejandro explained.
The holiday doesn’t look the same for everyone, however, and a mix of cultures with new generations has led to the merging of traditions. “For my family now, what’s changed is there’s a mix of both cultures. So, my daughter gets to experience the Venezuela side and the Mexican side,” Alejandro shared.
For those who celebrate Three Kings Day, the season of gift giving extends all the way up to the 12th day of Christmas. In fact, sometimes the three kings bring more gifts than Santa!
Three Kings Day is celebrated on Jan. 6, so we invite you to join us in saying “Feliz Día de Reyes” to Alejandro and everyone else in the community who celebrates. No matter which holidays you celebrate this season, the Disneyland Resort celebrates with you!