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Taínos
Puerto Rico - U.S.A.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Los Reyes

El Día de Reyes is comparable to Christmas Day celebrations. On La Víspera de Reyes (the Eve of Three Kings Day) Puerto Rican children cut grass to put in a shoe box under their bed for the camels to eat. Their "wish list" is placed on top of the grass. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends ask children to put a box under their bed too - just in case.

 

The Reyes only come if the child has been good all year. If the children are awake they bypass the house. On this night children sleep lightly listening for any strange noises, whispers, or maybe sounds of the camels' hooves, or any tale-tale signs of the Kings' arrival.

Sometime during the night Los Reyes arrive and quietly leave their gifts for the children while their camels enjoy their snack. In the morning the island is filled with the joy and the laughter of happy children enjoying their new bikes, skates, dolls, and other toys. It is a joyful day full of celebration.

Later in the day a holiday dinner is prepared and friends and relatives join in the festivities. Relatives bring the children the boxes left under their beds now empty of grass but filled with gifts.

What fun!

 

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Collaborating Illustrator: Jorge Luis Rodríguez; Bronx, NY