One of the most treasured traditions of Puerto Rico is the celebration of Three Kings Day -
El Dia de Reyes. Families get together with their children to revisit the story of when the Three Kings of the Orient visited the Christ child who was born in a manger in Bethleham.
In Puerto Rico, the Three Kings come to visit in horses rather than camels. To receive a gift that morning, children place a shoe box with grass and a bowl of water under their beds the night before. Many of us still follow this tradition here in San Diego, both at our homes as well as when the House of Puerto Rico meets in January. Here the children will receive gifts directly from the Three Kings on this joyous occasion. Join us each January...
The Three Kings Visit the House of Puerto Rico and Beyond
By Emily Velez-Confer
On January 3, 2009 the House of Puerto Rico San Diego’s General meeting was graced with the celebration of the Three Kings’ tradition.
Dennis, Judy and Jasmine Flores were generous in providing the children of our members with a Three King theme activity in the Casita while the adults of the group took care of the business meeting. Then Dennis presented the Culture Corner to the general membership and guest providing information on the tradition of this holiday celebration.
Jasmine (Judy and Dennis’ daughter) then brought the children back to the group and presented the children and the activities that they participated in. Judy and Jasmine worked on making a craft project for the kids focusing on the kings and camels. The children also got to make a box with straw to take home.
Then the grand moment came as an Asalto was being performed by the House of Puerto Rico San Diego parranda group lead by Angie Freeman and Irene Roman. Lisa Santiago, Gus Freeman, Susie Peguero, Di, Antonio Sr. and Jr.S, Eva Flores, Sophie, Benjamin, Lori, Casilda, Nelly and Daisy joined us. The Three Kings processed behind them to finally present themselves to all – the children and all who were “children” at heart.
The Three Kings visiting with the children of the House of Puerto Rico San Diego
Photo by: Edwin Ocasio
The Three Kings handed out their gifts to children of all ages bringing excitement and joy. They also took the time to have individual photos take with members and guest. Then off they went…
And where did they go you might ask – they were headed off to Tijuana, Mexico. WHERE? You might ask! ! !?
Yes, to Tijuana, Mexico on Sunday, January 4th. Continuing a tradition Stephen Velez-Confer started two years ago, the House of Puerto Rico San Diego sponsored a visit to a foster home in Tijuana for our Three Kings. This year I along with Manny Cepeda, Joe Carballo and Irene Roman from the House of Puerto Rico San Diego joined other guests from San Diego’s St. Paul’s Cathedral to bring gifts and the Three Kings to Dorcas House.
Manny Cepeda and our Three Kings with children and other guests at Dorcas House
Photo by: Emily Velez-Confer
Manny provided music while Joe, Irene and Emily assisted with entertaining the children and neighbors who were being honored. Each king presented families their gifts and had photos taken with each family group. It is a unique and special experience to share with those that have so much less and are so grateful of this gift of love and caring.
We hope that you all enjoyed the Holiday Season too!