As tradition indicates, on January 6 of each year on the day of Epiphany , the date that marks the end of Christmas, the little ones in the house get up early to open with eagerness and emotion the gifts that, the night before, the children have left. Magi for them. You, as a good magician, are moved to see your children glow with emotion, they are excited and immensely grateful for the details that Their Majesties have brought them from the East.
This ritual comes from an event that occurred more than 2000 years ago as a reaction to the event for which we celebrate Christmas; When Jesus of Nazareth was born, three kings from distant lands came to worship him and presented him with gifts.
THE TRADITION OCCURS IN SPAIN, PORTUGAL AND LATIN AMERICA
This ancient festival that takes place in thousands of houses where Christmas is venerated , must be accompanied by a complete story so that you transmit the magic that the expected visit of these kings brings to your home. That is why we want to tell you in detail the true story behind Gaspar, Melchor and Baltasar so that you can share it with your children. Read carefully and sweeten Christmas a little more to your children.
THE HISTORY OF THE MAGI
The religious events that occurred to popularize this festival are especially related to the birth of Jesus , conceived by the Virgin Mary. She is together with her fiancé José, they abandoned their lands to give birth, since they fled from those who described her as unfaithful when she became pregnant by someone other than José . In this humble way, Jesus was born and shepherds and people around him went to worship the newborn after receiving visits from angels who told them that the newborn was the proclaimed savior and King of the Jews.
The true narration of the events that lead to what we know today as Magi is extracted from the scriptures of the Bible, exactly in the Gospel of Saint Matthew, the only one that relates the appearance of these, in Chapter 2, of the verses 1 to 12.
THE GOSPEL OF SAINT MATTHEW COLLECTS THE TRUE STORY
Since the wise men knew the prophecies of the Old Testament in which it is written that the King of the Jews would be born in Bethlehem of Judea, they go there and ask about Jesus. Herod , the King of Galilee, also knowing the prophecies and in fear of being removed from his throne by the newborn , summons the elders and shows them the way to Bethlehem in exchange for their return from the visit, report where the little King was . So, with the star guiding the way, they reached the portal and after worshiping and paying homage to Jesus, they gave him gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Knowingly, the wise men returned to their homes without heeding Herod’s words , since as the Bible indicates “being warned by revelation in dreams not to return to Herod, they returned to their land by another way.”
GASPAR, MELCHOR AND BALTASAR
As for the protagonists of this tradition, the name of these, their appearance and even the exact number of visitors is still in the air today.
In the Old Testament at no time is it indicated that there are three magicians who went to visit the infant , nor does it delimit their exact origin, or whether or not they are kings, nor are they given distinctive names. These characteristics are established in later writings to the Bible ; In the first place, in the 5th century, Pope Leo the Great in the 5th century was the one who established that there were three the number of visitors who went to worship Jesus, since those who gave him the gold, incense and myrrh, there were also three. A little later, in the middle of the 6th century, the Church of Italy San Apolinar Nuovo is the one that named these as Melchior, Gaspar and Baltasar.
IT WAS AN ITALIAN CHURCH THAT NAMED THE MAGI
Their clothes are always majestic; gloves, long capes and luxurious fur along with jewels, especially the crowns worn by kings, are their uniforms, but in addition, the appearance of each of them is distinguished by different features and appearances as a representation of the races what’s on earth; Gaspar , with his characteristic blond hair and beards, the origin of Asia is established , Melchor , with gray-white hair represents Europe and Baltasar , black skin is the best way to take into account and equate the African race to the others.
THE LETTER TO THE MAGI
The letter is the first step to take before the expected January 6 and even before Christmas arrives. The children write with enthusiasm to Their Majesties of the East to tell them what gifts they want for the year that is about to begin . Normally the little ones ask for new toys that in the winter seasons are featured in the media and on store shelves.
But in addition to gifts, they also ask for wishes ; This is something that we advise you to reinforce when helping our children to write the letter, we must teach them that material goods are not everything, and although we know that parents are not magicians and cannot perform miracles, It is good that they ask with all their might that the powers of the Magi also fulfill non-consumer wishes and plans such as upcoming visits from distant relatives, cures for diseases of relatives and friends, help to those most in need …
The letter is sent to the East for Their Majesties The Three Wise Men if you want to use the mailbox, by fax, online, or it can be delivered to your pages when they visit schools, shopping centers, hospitals on the eve of Christmas. and other public places to make them reach the expected elderly in a more direct and safe way in the children’s conscience.
But writing the letter is not everything, tradition rewards children who have behaved well throughout the year with a greater reward by providing the most gifts requested of them. Those who have not behaved so well are “punished” for their sweet taste by giving them caramel charcoal.
CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS: HORSEBACK RIDING
The Cavalcade of the Magi is one of the other traditions that take place before their arrival. In many localities, it is a tradition that the afternoon before January 6 , Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar stroll through the streets, together with their pages, mounted on floats. Normally, as in the Fallas cavalcades, they are accompanied by troupes and Their Majesties throw sweets and trinkets for the children to collect and share.
The places where these parades are held are in countries such as Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Poland and in the Czech Republic.
The duration of the parade is not very long and it is certainly a good option to take the smallest of the house there to see the Kings and thus continue to believe in them. If it is impossible to attend the parade, there is always the possibility of seeing it from home. As it is a very popular and crowded tradition at Christmas, the media do not hesitate to broadcast it live on television so that the illusion also reaches children’s homes.
THE ROSCÓN DE REYES
The roscón de reyes is a characteristic circular cake with a large hole in the center that is eaten on the eve before the night of kings . After going with the children to see the Cavalcade of the Magi, families usually get together to have a snack of this Christmas sweet, although it is also usually enjoyed as a dessert at dinner and on the same day 6.
The antecedents to the Roscón de Reyes are French and Spanish pastries, and even in Ancient Rome this sweet began to be made in worship of King Saturn . But in the first writings in which the tradition as we now know it are collected, they are dated in 1931 in Navarra, Spain. The sweet dough bun is usually decorated with crystallized fruits and sugar or granulated almonds on the top . Inside the roscón, it is sometimes filled with cream, cream, truffle or chocolate and when cutting and distributing a piece to each diner, one of them finds a bean, which means that they will have to pay for the cake and another participant to Eating the sweet will come across a figure of the Virgin or Saint Joseph, which indicates that you will be lucky for the rest of the year.
Now you know a little more about each tradition of the last phase of Christmas. Help your children to write the letter to the Kings with affection, go with them to enjoy the parade and, in addition to the nougat you have eaten during Christmas, share a roscón with them telling them and imparting this tradition so that they do not get lost. never.