By Miriam Meza –
Whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Kwanzaa, during this holiday season, the Aurora Public Library offers like happy holidays! Among the many celebrations during this season is el Día de los Reyes Magos. What is this celebration, you ask?
El día de los Reyes, or Three Kings’ Day, is celebrated by many Latin American countries around the world Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. The day commemorates the three wise men who traveled from afar to bring gifts to baby Jesus. There are many traditions tied to this holiday from foods to gifts and family time.
One tradition that comes from this holiday, in Mexico in particular, is that of children receiving gifts. Children look forward to this day because Santa does not visit during Christmas Day; instead, the Three Kings come bearing gifts. Children can leave their wish lists in their shoes, or tie them to balloons so they can ascend to the Three Kings. No need to fret about any list not being seen because one of the three kings, Melchor, Gaspar, or Baltasar, will read it!
Another tradition is la Rosca de Reyes or Kings’ Cake. Much of this pastry is representative of the day, including its round shape to symbolize a king’s crown. Each Rosca de Reyes is unique, with its figs, quinces, cherries, or other dried and candied fruits for decorations. The one common element all roscas have is a small plastic figurine representing the baby Jesus. Whoever gets the figurine in their slice of rosca is said to have good luck!
Those interested can join the holiday tradition by attending Aurora Public Library’s Día de los Reyes Magos Celebration. This event will be held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 at the Santori Public Library of Aurora. This Spanish-friendly event will have a presentation about the holiday, craft-making, loteria-playing and a special appearance by los 3 Reyes Magos.
Mariana Guerrero, Spanish-language programmer at the Santori Library, said, “This program is one of my favorites because we have a big crowd excited to continue with our cultural tradition which is to celebrate the Three Wise Men. Kids and their families get to enjoy a little piece of rosca de Reyes and make a small craft, ending with a gift from the Three Wise Men! It’s such a fun time, and I enjoy sharing our culture with the younger generations.”
Don’t miss this fourth annual family-friendly event! The Aurora Police Department will donate stuffed animals to children. Registration is required. Please register on our website at aurora.libnet.info/events.
Miriam Meza is communications manager for Aurora Public Library.