THE THREE KINGS CELEBRATION
At the Children Discovery Museum in San José

By: Iride Aparicio

the-three-magi-160632.png

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Photos by: Iride Aparicio

SILICON VALLEY --  We learn about these three men in the gospels 2-11  of  Matthew (King James Bible).  He refers to them as the  "three wise men"  who came from the East to Jerusalem asking " tell us where is he that was born King of the Jews  for we have seen his star in the East and are come to worship him."  They were three educated-in- astronomy kings,  but some believe that the reason why Matthew called them "wise men" instead of kings, was to convey the  message to those that he wanted to convert, that one has to be "wise," to follow  Jesus.

Matthew continues his gospel, writing that Herod (the king)  sent them to Bethlehem  of Judaea, as it was written by the prophet:  "And thou Bethlehem in the land of Judah, art not the least among the  princes of Judah for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.  After Herod got the place of the child's birth from his own prophets,  he asked the wise men to go and worship him and come back to tell him about it because he too wanted to worship him. Guided by a star, the Kings were led to the place where Jesus was born,  fell down on their knees and  worshiped  him offering their gifts of gold (A symbol of Kingship on earth)  frankincense (A symbol of deity because He was God) and Myrrh (an embalming oil used for the dead).

KING's DAY
In Spain,  the day of the kings' arrival (celebrated on January 6th) is called  Epiphany, (Which means the Manifestation of Christ) and it is the day where children receive their gifts, which they believe were brought by the  "Three Kings," not Santa Claus. It is a big celebration. Thr families get together, special food is cooked, and there parties, masses, are parades on the streets. During the years, their traditions expanded to other countries around the world. Here in San José,  "El DíA de los TRES REYES MAGOS" has been celebrated at the CHILDREN DISCOVERY MUSEUM for years.

IMG_1241.JPG

Prior to the celebration, in a telephone,  interview,  we talked with CECILIA CLARK,  Interim Director of Marketing and Communications at the museum to gather information.

" The Feast of the three Kings  celebrates the three Kings arrival in Bethlehem bearing gifts to  Baby Jesus," she tells us "and  "THREE KINGS DAY  has been celebrated here, for many years, as part of  our cultural different celebrations held at CHILDREN DISCOVER MUSEUM. This year, it will be celebrated for two days: Saturday January 11 and Sunday, January 12,  from twelve noon to four o'clock in the afternoon." 

"The event is organized and hosted by CHILDREN DISCOVERY MUSEUM with the help of Latin X Consultant Rivera Advertising,  owed by Arturo Medina, and what we do is  celebrate the festivity, but not necessarily focused on the religion aspect,  but as a celebration which  bring back the rich traditions of the family gathering, the  gift giving, the music, the dancing and the  activities.  Our focus is to bring people together,  create a community among people  and  allow them to pass down their traditions."

"This Festivity is for everybody because you have to remember that CHILDREN DISCOVERY MUSEUM was created for children, but the museum experiences, give others exposure of different customs and traditions. So, this festivity is for families. The "traditions" on this year's  celebration, will included the visit of the three kings, the traditional "Torta de Reyes," and entertainment. "

We visited the museum on Sunday, January 12. It was a happy place to be. There was music, singing and dancing on the stage and around the museum , parents and children were enjoying the food and the different activities. Among the activities, the two that children enjoyed the most,  were learning to make their own  tortillas and  creating their own cardboard crowns and painting them in different colors.

IMG_1209.JPG
In the kitchen, being  taught how to  make tortillas

IMG_1223.JPG
Kosha Day Cavalli coloring  his crown

IMG_1210.JPG
Wearing the crown  he  designed,  Angel Reyes Vargas shows us his tortilla

The entertainment presented to the audience at the museums stage, that afternoon, was wonderful.  It included music, dances and songs from both Spain and Mexico.

IMG_1215.JPG
Three singers with guitars  from  "Los Panaderos"

IMG_1239.JPG 
Guitarra solo and singing  by ARTE de FLAMENCO in San José

 
IMG_1236.JPG
Flamenco Dance by  ARTE DE FLAMENCO in San JOSE


IMG_1243.JPG
Mexican folk  dance by LOS LUPEÑOS JUVENIL

And being the  celebration of  " EL DíA de Los REYES MAGOS," the three Kings,  had to be walking around among the people giving chocolates wrapped in gold. to simulate gold coins,  to the children.

IMG_1216.JPG

MARTIN SANCHEZ, in the role of Melchor,  center JULIAN LUGO, in the role of Gaspar and FERNANDO LOPEZ, in the role of  Baltazar

CULTURAL WORLD BILINGUAL stopped to talk with them for a few minutes.
MARTIN SANCHEZ  introduced himself as "Melchor, the King who brought gold to Jesus." To our question of what prompted him to play the role of a  REY MAGO (as the kings are called in Spanish) he says. " It started with my son, who introduced me to this organization, that's how I became one of  The tres " REYES MAGOS"  He enjoys playing the role,  specially after he learned the meaning of  his role.  He tells us that what he enjoys most is watching the smiling kids receiving their chocolate gold coins from them. The  kids talking with him and wanting to  take pictures with him. To our readers, MARTIN wants to emphasize that the celebration of Kings Day  at the CHILDREN DISCOVERY  MUSEUM is for kids and adults, who don't yet know, to  learn what the celebration of  de tres Reyes Magos means. "It is a cultural tradition, that, maybe, after they have learned about it,   they can pass it on."

FERNANDO LOPEZ plays the role of Baltazar and as part of  his role, he is the king who is bringing a large bag of Incense to Baby Jesus, When asked why incense, he responds:  "Because back in biblical times incense was a very special gift," LOPEZ  has volunteered to play the role of king  for the last five years and to do other things, (even teaches to make tortillas) but among all these other roles he has played, he enjoys playing the role of king the most. His message to the community is: "Please come, the museum, but not only during King's celebration, but during the year, when I think it celebrates eight different cultures. It is fun for families to interact."

JULIAN LUGO, tells us that in his role he brings the Mirrah to Baby Jesus and that the reason for  him, as a king, to bring Baby Jesus Mirrah is that as an  oil  Mirrah was given (at the time) only to royalty or a person of high standing. He was first brought to join the festivity by a friend, and now because his kids, he enjoys playing his role more because his kids enjoy seeing him playing the role of king. His message to our readership repeats the previous messages. "Come explore the CHILDREN DISCOVERY MUSEUM. You will be amazed at what you and your children will learn from the experience."

IMG_1256.JPG

A Nativity from Jerusalem, showing the visit of the three Kings