I want to share something I experienced as a young teenager during the time I lived in Puerto Rico. In 1981 or 1982 I was introduced to many Puerto Rican Christmas traditions that we never observed in Nueva York. Things like Parrandas did not exist there or at least were not done in the same fashion as a good old fashion Boricua style ASALTO.
During that time in Puerto Rico, many of the kids did not believe in Santa Claus…their holiday began with more of a spiritual celebration of Christmas (probably closer to what people who are religious experience), Party during New Years (this is when I learned the “12 Uvas” tradition) and yearned for January 6th to come so that they can be visited by the “Tres Reyes Magos”. I would put fresh grass under my bed in a box so that I can help them feed the camels for their long journey to visit baby Jesus. In exchange for my grass…and if I was a good boy, I would receive a gift.
When I came back to NYC years later, I learned that many organizations celebrated “El Dia De Los Reyes” with different cultural shows but very few families actually celebrate the holiday as they do in Puerto Rico or many other countries. This makes me sad…and what is even worse, I am no different than many people who do not celebrate it. I am part of the problem…I never taught my children the beauty of this holiday.
I posted the history of this holiday last year…but this year I would love to start a movement of people that will commit to bringing this holiday back into our culture no matter where we live.
Are you with me on this?
Let us know in the comments below if you celebrate it already and share some of your stories.George Torres The Urban Jibaro Cultivando Cultura since 1997… Social Media | Branding | Event Management Follow me on Twitter… @UrbanJibaro
(3 King artwork by Olga Ayala)
Read the History of Three Kings Day!
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