Dí­a de Reyes or Epiphany in Guatemala

Dí­a de Reyes or Epiphany

Unlike other Spanish-speaking countries, Guatemala does not make a big deal of the arrival of the Tres Reyes Magos (Three Wise Kings) known as Epiphany in English; a Christian holiday celebrated on January 6th. Except, of course, for burning firecrackers and ringing bells of the churches right at noon, which seems to be Guatemalans’ favorite way of announcing or marking a holiday or event.

In Christian tradition the Magi (Greek: μάγοι, magoi), Three Wise Men, Three Kings or Kings from the East are said to have visited Jesus after his birth, bearing gifts. They are mentioned only in the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 2) , which says that they came “from the east to Jerusalem” to worship the Christ, “born King of the Jews”. (Source: Wikipedia.org)

In other Spanish-speaking countries, Christmas gifts and presents are given on Dí­a de los Reyes and not on Christmas Eve or even Christmas. In some countries, children receive presents on both occasions, but in Guatemala Christmas Eve is the designated date for children to receive their presents.

Also, for many people, Dí­a de los Reyes marks the end of the Christmas season, although around Antigua Guatemala, many people keep their Nacimientos and Christmas decorations until February 2nd, Dí­a de la Candelaria (Candlemas), which incidentally is Groundhog Day in the United States. The day after February 2nd the Christmas lights around Antigua’s Main Plaza will be pick up and put away.

© 2009 – 2013, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • cynthia

    This Nacimiento is wonderful and your camera angle captures is beautifully.
    I have a small, very colorful Nacimiento made of bread dough that I purchased
    in Ecuador many years ago; however, I must say that this one is even more
    enchanting.

  • Fio

    What a colorful picture! Such different from our european Epiphany scenes.
    Beautiful 🙂

  • MO

    If you listen carefully you can hear the king on the right (the one holding the pineapple whispering to the king with the watermelon how pretty Maria looks. LOL

  • This holiday passed by with me being completely oblivious — thanks for reminding me of it.