The big man in the red suit has gone back to the North Pole, but for Hispanic families worldwide and in Collier County, the tradition of gift-giving was not over.
On January 5th, the Florida Sports Park was host to the history and tradition of El Dia De Los Reyes (Three Kings Day) as 600+ Hispanic families came to eat, dance, celebrate, listen to music and enjoy a sense of family and community—the essence of the Feast of the Three Kings.
On January 6th, all across North, Central & South America Hispanics will be remembering and celebrating one of their most historically significant traditions: “El Dia De Los Reyes.” For many Christians, this day is also known as “Feast of the Epiphany.”
Traditionally, for Hispanics, the Three Kings Day is a family day. Family and the sanctity of life are two cornerstone values Hispanic families respect with pride. Many of the Hispanic values overlap and have significant synergy with the values of America’s founding fathers.
To recognize the significance of the Three Kings in the history, tradition and values shared with the Hispanic families in Collier County, the Collier County Republican Party sponsored the First Annual Three Kings Festival held at the Florida Sports Park. It was one community celebrating a shared value of family and the sanctity of life.
To put this event together, Collier County GOP volunteers’ hand–delivered 11,000 invitations to Hispanic homes. A resounding 600+ responses were received to attend and join in celebration of Three Kings Day.
Historically, it is the day the baby Jesus was introduced to the world with the visit of the three kings also known as three Wise men or Magi following the prophecy that the Star of Bethlehem would lead them to the newborn king! It was the beginning of how we come to revere “The Family” and all the promises a new life brings.
El Dia De Los Reyes is about belonging to a family and sharing a common journey. The Three Kings, Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar, followed the Star of Bethlehem for 12 days on a journey filled with promises for a better future.
Fun Facts about Dia De Los Reyes:
- It is bigger than Santa as the children receive gifts from the Three Kings.
- The holiday is also known as the Feast of the Epiphany
- It is celebrated with a feast and an oval–shaped cake called Rosca de Reyes or King’s cake. It’s a sweet bread covered in candied fruits and symbolizes a crown.
- A baby Jesus figurine(s) is hidden inside the cake. Whoever finds it in their slice must bring the food and drinks for a feast on February 2nd called Candlemas, which is also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ and the Feast of Purification of the Virgin Mary.