It is a tradition that every 6th of January in many countries, the children wait anxiously for the arrival of the Reyes Magos, the reason is because it is accustomed for them to ask these kings for some present. So in a way we can say that these majestic men play the role of Santa Claus, but in reality the meaning of this joyful tradition is more profound than that.
It is a tradition that every 6th of January in many countries, the children wait anxiously for the arrival of the Reyes Magos, also known as the Wizards of East; the reason for the longing and waiting for this Camel riding nobles is because it is accustomed for the children to write a letter before Christmas, describing how they behaved during the year, and if they were well behaved they ask these kings for some present in return; they fold the paper and place it inside a shoe, which must be located near the Christmas three. The youngsters also leave water and for the kings and their camels to calm their thirst and something sweet, like fruit or candy to make them gain strength and return to their task. These gifts basically consist in candy, clothes and toys.
So in a way we can say that these majestic men, at least for the children, play the role of Santa Claus by bringing presents to them, but in the majority of states there is in Christmas Eve also a Santa Claus that comes in his red clothes, black boots and his reindeer; and enjoys all the cookies and the glasses of milk that all the kids in Earth leaves for him as gratitude for the amazing presents that he leaves under the Christmas three.
But first we must understand the meaning of this tradition; the story goes back to the bible, to the catholic religion: The Reyes Magos saw in the night´s sky a stunning star and they chose to follow it until January the 6th, when they finally reached the town of Belen, were they found the virgin Mary, Jose and the newborn Jesus, inside a barn, surrounded by farm animals. Each of these kings was carrying a gift to present to the little one, to honor and show their devotion. Melchor is described as the oldest one, with a long white beard, he gave Jesus gold, that represented the real nature of Christ; the second one was called Gaspar, he was young and with fair hair, he offered him myrrh, that symbolized the divine nature of the child, and the last one; Baltasar, is described as a black man who presented the baby with incense, that represented the coming death of Christ in the cross.
In my particular household, we didn´t receive gifts from these Wizards of the East, also because this tradition is more accustomed in the centric territories of the Mexican Republic than in Yucatan. But there are lots of exceptions, and many friends I have had describe me their childhood and the way they lived this specific day in the past. Even though the presents weren’t something we lived, my sisters and I always awaited this day with immense excitement because of the way that our family, as many others, celebrates the arrival of the Reyes Magos, as it involves a family gathering! That is: an excuse for all of my relatives and family friends, to come together and enjoy ourselves with good company, yummy food and lots of laughter.