Now that Christmas has passed, the holiday celebrations come to an end for most people. But, throughout Latin America and in many American households of Latino descent, the holidays do not end until after celebrating El Día de Los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings’ Day). Three Kings’ Day is celebrated on January 6 with festivities beginning the night before. It’s a fun holiday for kids – one that even babies will enjoy!
Copyright Melanie Edwards/modernmami
Typically, celebrating Los Reyes means that children gather either grass or hay for the Three Kings’ camels on the eve (January 5); the next morning, a present will have been left for them by the Three Kings. Depending on the Latin American country, some children use shoes or shoe boxes for leaving the camels a bit of grass. In Puerto Rico, my family always made small baskets out of shoe boxes and decorated them. I remember getting candy in my basket after the camels “ate the grass” and receiving a small gift from the Three Kings. It was always fun to help make my basket, collect grass the night before Three Kings’ Day, and of course, anticipate a present. It’s a tradition I love and that provided many memories throughout my childhood.
I started celebrating this holiday with my daughter a few years back and have continued to do so with my baby boy as well. The past two Three Kings’ Day celebrations he was too young to do much, but I expect he’s going to have a lot of fun next month as he’s now two-years-old! I know he’s going to enjoy collecting grass in his basket (pictured above along with his big sister’s) and will have fun opening his present the next morning.
My #1 tip for celebrating Día de Los Reyes with a baby is to keep it simple. Instead of putting candy in their basket/shoebox, consider a small pack of fruit snacks, crackers, or whatever snack your baby enjoys most. The present from Los Reyes doesn’t have to be grand either – a nice book or fun outfit will do, especially if Santa Claus already made a visit. Finally, have fun! Celebrating Three Kings’ Day is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about why this holiday is important to many cultures, and create new memories with your baby.
Do you celebrate Los Reyes?