El dia de los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day) is a day to celebrate culture, family and the feast of the Epiphany in Latino/Hispanic culture. The Tres Reyes (Three Kings) event, sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI) and Dominican Sisters of Peace, took place at the Martin de Porres Center in Columbus, OH, Friday, January 6, with more than 116 in attendance. Franklin County Coroner, Anahi Ortiz, MD, a member of the Franklin county Opiate Task Force, spoke about the dangers of opiods and the signs and symptoms of addiction. While Dr. Ortiz spoke to the adults, the children adjourned to another room for crafts and games and came back carrying a gift to celebrate the Feast of the Ephiphany. Community organizations joined 12 Dominican Sister of Peace as well as staff members Yahaira Rose, Lisset Mendoza, Donna Vroom and Alice Black.
This day marks the day on the Christian calendar when the Magi brought gifts to the baby Jesus. In Latin America and Spain, children receive presents. Culture plays a big part in the celebration of Tres Reyes Magos. In Mexico, children leave their shoes outside their doors so the Three Kings will leave gifts inside. Many families leave a box of grass (or hay) and water for the Three King’s camels to eat. Camels are known for leaving a trail of grass behind that children can often follow to their gifts! Other traditions include parades, men dressing up as the Three Kings bringing the gifts and traditional dinners including the Rosca de Reyes. The Rosca de Reyes is traditionally baked, and within the sweet bread a “Baby Jesus” figurine is hidden – the individual who finds the baby Jesus in their slice must then prepare tamales for everyone on the Feast of Purification/Candlemas (Dia de Candelaria), which is celebrated on February 2.
We are grateful to CHI for their support of this Atrevete a Vivir en Paz initiative through a Violence Prevention grant.