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Kings’ Day: An Invitation to Turn on the Lights Once Again

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare — January 3, 2020 — 4 min read
The new year is here, and you are probably just beginning to process all the events and celebrations that just took place. If you are a Christmas lover, you surely spent several weeks, or even months, planning each reunion, banquet and gift. You must have been so excited about the decorations and planning of trips and vacations to get ready to throw yourself into the festive spirit of the season. And you must have had a great time! But suddenly, overnight, it's all over.

It is normal that the end of this season brings with it mixed emotions. Especially the Christmas enthusiasts may feel particularly sad because Christmas and all it represents is gone. At the end, there may be a feeling of emptiness and low energy that threatens to bring down our joy and positivism just as we launch the new year.
Precisely to combat these post-Christmas blues, we invite you to discover a very popular tradition among the Latino community that could help you close your Christmas holidays in a more gradual way and open the year with great enthusiasm. It is Kings’ Day, also known as Epiphany Day.

What is Kings’ Day?

Every January 6, several countries in Latin America, Europe and other parts of the world, celebrate Kings’ Day. This is a holiday that remembers the adoration of baby Jesus by the three Magi.

According to tradition, the three Wise Men were called Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar. It is said that they were three visitors who came from other countries to honor baby Jesus and present gifts of great symbolic wealth such as gold, myrrh and incense.

How is it celebrated?

In several European and Spanish-speaking countries, a traditional parade is performed, in which three actors representing the three Wise Men walk along the streets riding horses, camels or floats. Throughout their journey, they greet the people who accompany them and distribute candies and sweets. In some houses, families leave bread and water for the animals that transport the Magi.

In some countries this parade takes place on January 5 in the afternoon. The party ends on January 6 when families meet once again to distribute the gifts brought by the Wise Men, who had previously received the children's letters with their requests. In this reunion the traditional Rosca de Reyes is served, a delicious sweet bread that is prepared exclusively to enjoy on this day.

The Rosca de Reyes represents a crown adorned with dried and crystallized colored fruits simulating the jewels of the crowns of the Magi, which mean love, peace and happiness. Inside, there is a small plastic baby that represents the moment when Joseph and Mary hid baby Jesus to save him from Herod. Tradition dictates that whoever finds the child in the piece of bread will take care of the baby until February 2. Then, that person will dress it and present it to the temple, as Virgin Mary did.

The act of eating this bread represents the communion with the sacredness of the newborn character. For Christians, the circular shape of the Rosca symbolizes the eternal love of God. The crystallized sweets or fruits represent the distractions of the world that prevent us from finding Jesus.

Latino bakeries throughout North Carolina prepare Rosca de Reyes during these dates, for those who would like to take home this typical delicacy.

Let's leave the sadness behind and celebrate one more time!

We hope that this brief review of Kings’ Day or Epiphany Day arouses your curiosity, helps you overcome the nostalgia of the end of the holiday season, and makes you enjoy the magic of Christmas once again before you put out your tree.

Happy Kings’ Day from your friends at Cardinal Innovations Healthcare!

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