Christmas is to residents living in the United States or Europe,
Mexico’s Three Kings Day is a time to celebrate the Christ-centered,
religious and festive holiday season. Beginning on the evening of
January 5th, children invite the Magi to leave presents for
them by leaving out their shoes. Inside of their shoes, as a way to
show their sense of giving, children place camels and other treats in
similar to a “Dear Santa” letter. The hope is the Magi will take their
camels, toy lists and other offered items and leave in their place
gifts for each child. This ritual is performed by most children and is
similar to the way American children leave milk and cookies for Santa
or the way British children leave wine and mince pies for Father
this holiday is a celebration of the visitation by the Magi to Jesus.
Far more important to citizens than Christmas Day, Mexico’s holiday
season has two main events: the pre-December 25th Los Posadas and the Epiphany’s El Dia de los Reyes; celebrated January 6th. Welcoming the Magi, Mexicans decorate their entire house to ensure the kings will be generous with their gifts.
in Mexico-U.S. border regions, traditional Mexicans still adhere to
their symbol of the holidays, a nativity. Ready for the Magi, these
nativities always display camels and are stuffed with straw. Offering
gifts for the expected night’s visit, extra treats for the camels and
Magi, including wine and fruit are left out. In the spirit of giving,
most Mexicans believe the Magi will be generous with their gifts if the
Magi and their camels are presented with many gifts. For this reason
alone, instead of Christmas greenery, hay usage is a common decorative
item during the Epiphany season.