Thursday, January 10, 2008

Three Kings

Three Kings day is January 6 but on January 5 all of the streets around the mercados are full of vendors selling toys, children's clothes and cookies. By night fall of the 6th they are gone. The children in Mexico get presents on the 6th because the Wise Men brought presents to Baby Jesus on day of the Epiphany or January 6th.

All around the jardin and the mercados I saw vendors with huge bundles of balloons/globos. From what I was able to understand from a sign I saw in a tienda, the children buy the balloons to send greetings and I'm sure their wish list to the Three Kings.

I asked La Arquitecta if she bought her children toys in the mercado. She said no that she bought them toys at Walmart or Costco because if they didn't work, she could take them back and the vendors in the mercados didn't give any guarantees. So she especially wanted to buy any electronic toys where there were some guarantees. I wonder how long the street vendors will survive.

On Monday as we waited for the doctor, a family came into the hospital. The little girls were carrying new baby dolls. I think the Three Kings gave them the gifts they wanted. It seems to me that receiving gifts on the Epiphany is a lot more biblical than getting gifts from Santa Claus on December 25th. I think I like this custom and I hope that it doesn't get subverted in the Mexican religion and culture.


Cynthia said...

Hope that foot is much better.

I love this about Three Kings Day. What a wonderful tradition. So no Santa arriving for Christmas morning there?

Do you know what they do at Christmas about gift giving? Do parents gift toys to children or does this wait for Three Kings.

Heather said...

I also wish that gift giving was left to the Three Kings. Santa Claus is nice and everything and it's been fun with our daughter getting all excited about Santa Claus, but I always thought waiting for the Epiphany made much more sense.

BTW, I have friends that are coming to San Miguel in February. I'll be sending them your blog address to check up on your pictures and stories before they go. I'm so jealous! We have to come there someday.

Billie said...

Cynthia, so far gift giving at Christmas isn't the main focus. In fact I don't see the commercialism of gifting in Mexico. But there are some changes as Mexicans return from having lived in the USA.

Heather, one of these days you must come to SMA. I think you would really like the town.