The Epiphany (Jan 6, the day the three kings supposedly came to baby Jesus) is celebrated like this in Wisconsin: kids go to school, people go to work, and if you’re a strict Catholic you might attend service in the evening. My parents never made me go, unless it fell on a Sunday anyway. No big deal.
Puerto Rico? It’s a national holiday. On January 5th my hubby went to the bank at 2pm and…closed at noon! Toys R Us was PACKED! Oh. Fireworks were shot around our neighborhood that night.
Speaking of night…apparently the Puerto Rico kids put out grass for the three king’s camels, and even treats for the Kings themselves! Because I guess you tell the kids that the Kings come to your house with gifts the night of the 5th. In fact, my neighbor grew up in he country and said Santa never came to her house, she didn’t get gifts until the three kings brought some on January 6th. I guess Santa was more of a city thing. Now maybe all those men go to everyone’s house? I’m not sure how they explain to the kids how the Magi’s magically get to everyone’s house. I have a hard enough time warding off detailed questions about Santa. I can’t imagine weaseling my way of explaining a whole other story!
It’s 5:30am on the 6th and we have all our doors and windows open because the weather is mah-valous dahling and what happens? Some ASSHOLE starts blaring music outside our neighborhood. Sounds like one of those trucks with the mega speakers driving back and forth. Ugh! What a jerk! I am incredibly irritated and start sending hate vibes to that person and wonder if anyone is going to call the cops. The music persisted until around 6:30am.
And no, no one called the cops. It was a parade put on by the MAYOR! Apparently I missed this last year. A parade. Pre dawn. Three dudes dressed up as the Kings sit in a truck that goes around waking up the kids in the city to come outside and find their gifts. (There’s a Jehova Witness church right outside our neighborhood. I bet they love this very intruding tradition). I’ve heard that this is a very exciting tradition that the kids adore. The three kings came to Jesus in the wee hours of the morning ( I can hear Mary thinking, “really??”) I guess there is a certain pre-dawn energy but whew! How many ornery kids will run around the next day? My friend in Cabo Rojo said they had 4am public celebrations. Like you had to get up and physically go somewhere at 4am people. Haha. Never would fly in Wisconsin. We hunker down those long cold winter nights. (But I shouldn’t judge. I woke up at 5am last July 4th to snag good parade seats).My neighbors gave our kiddos some gifts (I didn’t). And mi hija y yo attended a party at a friends house. I had to detour around some big Three Kings street parties where I heard they give out freebies to kids. That’s cool.
It’s 9:37pm as I write this and there are kids running around the streets and I can hear a neighbor’s party music. Sounds like a live band.
We probably broke some sort of code since we took down our Christmas tree already, but it’s our tradition to do so on January 1st.
I do love learning about other countries’ traditions!