YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – For many people, Christmas is more than a one-day event. In one tradition, it goes on for 12 days, with the final day on January 6, known as Three Kings Day.
Three Kings Day celebrates the biblical tale of when the three wise men visited baby Jesus after his birth. According to the Gospel of Matthew, they followed a star for 12 days to find him in Bethlehem.
Many Hispanic countries celebrate this day with feasts and festivals.
“It’s a tradition that we try to instill in our children and the families, and it’s every year around this time,” said Mary Lou Reyes, director of OCCHA.
In Youngstown, Organizacion Civica y Cultural Hispana Americana, Inc. (OCCHA) held a celebration Saturday with a representation of the three kings handing out gifts to children.
“It’s a great community and cultural event. We have great support, and a lot of people have donated to this event. Everything was donated, so the toys and the food. So it’s a great time to come together to end the holiday celebration,” said Mike Ray, president of the board of trustees for OCCHA.
In the Bible, the three wise men, or three kings, gave baby Jesus three symbolic gifts. Now in tradition, children are given gifts on the celebration of this day.
All of the gifts given by OCCHA were donated from different businesses and organizations around the community.
Ray said it’s important to keep this tradition going as a way to keep the culture alive.
“It’s important so we remember our culture. Sometimes the longer folks are here, they start to drift away from that, so we try to make sure we provide that cultural experience here in the community,” Ray said.