Three Kings Day celebrated throughout Lincoln’s Hispanic community
In short, the children of the world write to the Three Kings that visited baby Jesus on this day about what they want for Christmas.
In Hispanic culture, this day is celebrated as a family gathering while the children open up their gifts from the Three Kings.
In biblical context, the three wise men visited baby Jesus in the manger on January 6th, after a 12 day trek through the desert, thus was born Three Kings Day.
The day closes the Christmas festivities and is when the people of Spain and Latin America exchange gifts.
“And then on January the 6th, is with that feast of the 3 wise men, we call it Kings Day, so we get together with family and basically what we do is we celebrate life, we celebrate the birth of Jesus, but also the birth of any child around the world because we want to protect life,” Lincoln resident, Jose Herrero said.
As part of the celebration, Hispanic cultures make a special cake.
The Pan Dulce bakery at 821 S. 11th street has sold over 3,000 each season.
“This is the Rosco De Reyes, it’s made with beautiful fruits with bread, and then inside, we have a little baby Jesus, so in Mexico the tradition is if you happen to cut it, and you find the baby Jesus, you get to celebrate a party at your house, or dinner, and make tamales for the rest of the people around,” Herrero said.
“So the tradition is that you eat the Rosco de Reyes either on January the 5th or the 6th to celebrate the coming of the 3 wise men to Bethlehem, where they brought incense, gold and myrrh to baby Jesus, so the tradition is that the three wise men bring gifts to all the children of the world,” Herrero said.
Jose is also one of the architects of a famous 28-foot-long nativity scene in Lincoln at the Cristo Rey Catholic church and says the Rosco De Reyes cake and visiting the nativity scene are the binding good fortunes to the end of the Christmas holiday.
For the past 5 years, John and Livy LeFever visit the nativity scene as part of their Christmas tradition.
“It reminds me very much of the humbleness of the stable where Christ was born, it’s a very small parish that’s off in a neighborhood that’s not on a main thoroughfare or street,” John LeFever said.
“I like the temple area and how at night it changes the water and what you see as the reflection,” Livy LeFever said.
Kings day again, bringing together the world in the small Lincoln community.
“And that’s the message of Christmas, our family is humankind and our country is the world, and so that is what Christmas is all about, that’s the message.”
You have until January 10th to see the largest indoor nativity scene in the country at the Cristo Rey church.
The church is also hosting a fundraiser on January 10th at 7pm in support of an orphanage in Kenya and for the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. The link to the cause is here.
You can purchase your tickets for the fundraiser at the Cristo Rey church or at the Super Saver on 48th and O streets.