Kids tell Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar what they would like as gifts.
January 6 is called Three Kings Day here in Spain. It marks the end of the Christmas season and represents the Three Kings or Wise Men who came to visit Jesus when he was born. Every year on January 5th, there is a large procession, or parade in every city, neighborhood, and town in Spain. The three kings deliver the gifts and on the morning of January 6th, children wake up to find gifts next to a pair of clean shoes they left out the night before. However if the shoes aren't clean . . . they get a lump of coal!
Just like our traditions with Christmas, no one actually gets lumps of coal (although you can buy candy coal as a joke!) and they also receive gifts that are much larger than their shoes. I've been told that some parents will put little candies in the kids shoes and set the bigger presents next to them.
This year, the Masson family is finally going to a Three Kings parade! Because I like to experience large crowds and big events we're off to the biggest one in the city tonight. I think Renae will really enjoy it. Of course we'll take pictures and I'll post them here later.
On a similar note . . . (Spoiler alert-this might ruin your enjoyment of the nativity scene or Matthew 2).We once heard a man speak who had interviewd hundreds of modern day persecuted Christans around the world. One man from an African country told how in his culture, they call the Three Kings/Wisemen the Three Witches, or the Three Sorcerers.
In any kingdom, the most dangerous position to be in is 2nd in line for the throne. Kings are always worried about coups or being killed so the person next in line can take the throne. Therefore, when the Three Kings showed up at Herod's palace announcing that they had come to seek the new king, Herod obviously became nervous. Although he kept quiet to his 3 visitors and told them to go and find this new baby king.
Thankfully . . . God intervened and told the Three Kings to go home a different route so that Herod would not know where Jesus was. Subsequently, thousands of innocent boys, ages 2 years old and younger were killed.
This is why one African man said his culture calls these three "wise"men the Three Witches because they were "dumb enough" (the presenter's words) to announce to the current King that a new King had been born, causing the deaths of so many little boys.
How's that for our nice little Christmas story? ;)