Many Latin American countries celebrate this holiday, as it is derived from Spain. The Three King's Day is celebrated amongst many cultures, and each has given a distinct flavor to the day itself. To top the list, Spain is the birthplace of this tradition, which was then passed down to most of Latin America during the conquering of its people. Technically, this day is celebrated anywhere there are Spanish or Latin people, but is only officially recognized in these countries. Three King's Day is a day to celebrate the visit of the Three Wise Men to Jesus, which varies. Commonly, it is celebrated on Jan 6th, which has a lot of significance in the Christian faith.
For example, Orthodox calendars celebrate Christmas itself on Jan 6th, some even completely disregard the mainstream celebration which is done on Dec 25th. Spanish culture also mingled with its Italian neighbors, who also celebrate their own version of the holiday on January 6th. This day is widely known across Italy as the day of La Befana, who is considered a "good witch" that comes and gives children toys and gifts. It is a reminder of the gifts that the Three Wise Men gave Jesus.
Mexico is extremely well-known for having a huge intermingling of cultures, as they still recognize their ancient Mayan and Aztec pasts, which has become part of their identity as much as their Catholic upbringing. Mexico dedicates a specific dish to this day, called the Rosca de Reyes, which is bread with a figurine that resembles baby Jesus. This is a believed tradition amongst most families, as each person grabs the bread and takes turns carving out a slice for themselves. The person who slices into the bread and receives the baby Jesus wins the tradition. "Winning" means that the next party will be hosted at that person's house, which is on Feb 2nd.
In Mexico, Jan 5th is considered the eve of the Three King's Day, where children know that they need to place small bags underneath their pillows. This is a tradition that dates back to Spain, which was a way to show that children provide snacks for the camels of the Three Wise Men on their journey. Children enjoy this as, the following day, they awake to a gift underneath their pillow. In Spain, this tradition is also observed, but children place a small show with a note of the gift they want. It is said that the "tooth fairy" in western culture resembles this tradition.
Cuba is a popular destination for many countries due to its extremely low cost of entry for tourists, which encourages the growth of its embargoed economy. Because of this, many are familiar with Three King's Day in Cuba - which is a combination of other cultures. On Jan 5th, children and adults fill their shoes with grass and place them in front of the fireplace, and then exchange gifts the following day. The baby Jesus figurine tradition is also observed, similar to Mexico.
Three Kings Day
|Argentina||Día de Reyes ("Day of Kings")||Three Kings|
|Brazil||Dia dos Reis||Three Kings|
|Bulgaria||Bogoyavlenie ("Manifestation of God"), Кръщение Господне ("Baptism of the Lord") or Yordanovden ("Day of Jordan")||Epiphany|
|Chile||Día de los Tres Reyes Magos ("Day of the Three Royal Magi") or La Pascua de los Negros ("Holy Day of the Black Men")||Three Kings|
|Dominican Republic||Día de los Tres Reyes Magos ("Day of the Three Royal Magi")||Three Kings|
|Egypt||Feast of the Epiphany (by Coptic Orthodox)||Epiphany|
|Germany||Dreikönigstag ("Three Kings Day")||Both|
|India||Three Kings Festival||Three Kings|
|Ireland||Feast of the Epiphany, Little Christmas, Women's Christmas||Epiphany|
|Latvia||Trijkungu diena ("Three Kings Day") or Zvaigznes diena ("Star Day")||Three Kings|
|Malta||It-Tre Re ("The Three Kings")||Three Kings|
|Mexico||Día de Reyes, El Día de Los Tres Reyes||Three Kings|
|Paraguay||Día de Reyes ("The Day of Kings")||Three Kings|
|Peru||La Bajada de Los Reyes||Three Kings|
|Philippines||"Three Kings' Day" and Pasko ng Matatanda ("Feast of the Elderly")||Three Kings|
|Poland||Epiphany or Trzech Króli ("Three Kings")||Three Kings|
|Portugal||Dia dos Reis ("Day of the Kings")||Three Kings|
|Puerto Rico||Three Kings|
|Spain||El Día de Reyes||Three Kings|
|Sweden||trettondedag jul ("Thirteenth Day Yule")||Epiphany|
|United States||King's Day, Día de Los Tres Reyes Magos, Three Kings' Day, or Epiphany||Both|
|Uruguay||Día de Reyes||Three Kings|
Spain and Latin American countries celebrate Three Kings Day as the holiday that commemorates the arrival of the Three Wise Men to the young Jesus.
Many Latin American countries and Spain celebrate Three Kings Day, including Mexico and Cuba.