Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Three Kings Day Celebration Observed
This year Mrs. Stacie Thompson's Spanish class and the CHS Interact club partnered with Gustavo Arevalo, Union County Latino Outreach Coordinator, to collect and deliver gifts for 20 Latino families in Union County on Three Kings Day. On January 7, 2012, several students helped deliver the gifts to each familyâ€™s home, with three of them dressing up as the Three Wise Men. The students were able to practice their Spanish, interact with the families, and be a part of an important Latino tradition.
One girl, whose family had stopped celebrating the holiday once they came to the U.S., wrote a letter to the 3 Kings wishing for their return. There were tears of joy as CHS students walked in with gifts for her and her brother in their 3 Kings outfits. By the end of the day the students had spread a lot of joy and requested several recipes. After practicing their Spanish all day, students were exhausted but very happy for having had the opportunity to be immersed in this beautiful tradition.
Three Kings Day is celebrated on January 6. It is often viewed as the last day of the Christmas season (the end of the 12 days of Christmas). Traditionally in many Spanish-speaking countries, Three Kings Day is the gift-giving time, rather than Christmas day. Just as it is common for children to leave cookies for Santa in the U.S., in some regions of Mexico, it is customary for children to leave their shoes out on the night of January 5, often filling them with hay for the camels, in hopes that the Three Kings will be generous. Children awake on January 6 to find their shoes filled with toys and gifts.
Also, itâ€™s traditional for families to gather together and share the Rosca de Reyes, a crown-shaped sweet bread decorated with pieces of orange and lime. It is filled with nuts, figs, and cherries. Hot chocolate is traditionally served with the Rosca de Reyes. Mrs. Thompson also shared the Rosca de Reyes with New Town Elementary students and taught them all about this fun-filled holiday. She explained how the student who finds the trinket inside their piece of sweet bread is to host another party for everyone on February 2, officially ending the Christmas season.
This story was also covered in Que Pasa Mi Gente, a Spanish periodical. Check out these links:
Written by: Mrs. Stacie Thompson
Posted: Jan 03, 2012 by Paula White