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I love to see that the tradition of the Tres Reyes Magos is still alive even in the diaspora, and although it has lost a bit of its importance in terms of gifts, this tradition reinforces our culture. I also use it as a metaphor for pursuing our dreams.
But since this is a Latin music blog, you may wonder what the Tres Reyes Magos have to do with music. Well, almost nothing, and I say “almost” because the only thing they have in common is that both are part of our Latin culture. Still, I wanted to share with you two essential aspects of this tradition.
The Tres Reyes Magos – Updated Tradition
This beautiful historical and cultural event continues to resonate strongly both in Latin America and in the Latino diaspora in the United States.
I happened to be walking with my wife and daughters in San Juan (Puerto Rico) and I bought a pamphlet in which there was an article about how the Tres Reyes Magos tradition is celebrated in the diaspora, particularly in Chicago.
In a school in that city with a large Latino population, the children were asked to draw the Three Wise Men. It is interesting how some children, making use of their great imagination, drew the Tres Reyes Magos in various ways. Some put them as if they were superheroes (a la Marvel). I thought it was great to see that the children “updated” the traditional image of the Tres Reyes Magos to one that is more familiar to them.
In countries like Mexico and Mexicans in the diaspora, the tradition of the Rosca de Reyes is still very much alive.
All the activities that are celebrated on January 6th in Latin American countries and in the diaspora serve to reinforce our Latin culture and pass it on to our children. And when we pass on one aspect of our culture to our children and reinforce their Latino identity, it serves as a stimulus for them to become interested in other aspects of our culture, including our music.
Metaphor for Pursuing Our Dreams
Many of us use the beginning of the new year to reflect and set goals. Some of these goals have been in place since last year or perhaps we have been carrying them forward for several years.
As we celebrate the Día de Reyes every January 6, the event serves as a metaphor for me to pursue those goals and dreams.
The Reyes Magos knew that the Nazareno had been born, and they decided to go to see and worship him and bring him gifts. In other words, they set out with the goal of seeing the holy child. But they did not know how to get to Him. They never lost faith that they would reach the child, even though they did not know where He was.
It was then that the inspiration came to them to follow the star of Bethlehem. There are many theories regarding the star of Bethlehem. That star may have been there every year, but perhaps it shone brighter that year. The Reyes Magos found a sign that served as a guide for them to reach Jesus.
In our lives, we often have goals that we don’t know how we are going to achieve. But I think that if we keep our faith that we are going to look for a way to fulfill them, we will recognize a sign that will guide us on the path we have to take to fulfill them.
I hope that this Día de Reyes we will continue to celebrate this beautiful tradition to strengthen our culture and also to remind us that if we keep our faith, we will recognize that star that will guide us to the realization of our dreams.
Happy Día de Reyes!