Spanish speaking communities in Youngstown celebrate Three Kings Day

Local News

According to the Gospel of Matthew, three wisemen found the baby Jesus by following a star across the desert for 12 days to Bethlehem

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For many people, Christmas is celebrated on December 25, but in one tradition, it goes on for 12 days, with the final day on January 6, known as Three Kings Day.

“This is a tradition that’s been going on for a long time in a lot of the Spanish speaking communities,” said Mary Lou Reyes, executive director of Organizacion Civica y Cultural Hispana Americana, Inc. (OCCHA).

According to the Gospel of Matthew, three wisemen found the baby Jesus by following a star across the desert for 12 days to Bethlehem.

On Saturday, OCCHA held a celebration with a representation of the three kings handing out gifts to children in Youngstown.

“We’ve been doing this for decades, helping celebrate the culture. This closes the 12 days of Christmas, and we are very thankful for the community support and those who came out,” said Mike Ray, president of OCCHA Board of Trustees.

Usually, the organization would have lunch for the 150 children and families to celebrate the holiday, but because of COVID-19, they decided to have it as a drive-thru.

Even with this setback, they were still able to carry out their tradition.

“It’s significant to the Spanish speaking community and a lot of other countries like Puerto Rico, Spain, Latin American Countries as well as Russia,” Reyes said.

All of the gifts given by OCCHA were donated from different businesses and organizations around the community.

“This helps us to continue our culture and teach our children the culture of the Three Kings Celebration,” Reyes said.

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