Happy Three Kings Day!!!
On January 6th Three Kings Day is celebrated throughout Latin America, Spain, and in Hispanic communities of the United States. Therefore, I'm celebrating it here in Puerto Rico. Three Kings Day is the Epiphany of the church calendar, the 12th day after Christmas, when the Magi arrived bearing gifts for baby Jesus. Children receive gifts on this day, brought by the three kings, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar. In Latin America, January 6th, and not necessarily Christmas, is the day that children receive their gifts.
In the days preceding Three Kings Day, children write letters to the Magi requesting a toy or gift that they would like. On the night of January 5th, the figures of the Wise Men are placed in the nativity scene. Children would traditionally leave out a shoe box with a bit of hay in them to feed the animals of the Magi (they are often shown with a camel.) When the children wake up in the morning, their gifts will have appeared in the place of the hay. Nowadays, like Santa Clause, the Kings tend to place their gifts under the Christmas tree instead of in a shoe.
In the United States, the tradition of the Three Kings Day has carried on. Hispanic bakeries throughout the country typically sell hundreds of Roscas de Reyes during the day, and children patiently wait for their second gift of the holiday season.