Three King’s Day!
For all of you here in Japan, Christmas is over. However, for my family, Christmas actually ends on Three King's Day. For many people of the Catholic religion, Christmas ends on the day that three kings from different parts of the world visit baby Jesus and give him gifts. The gifts were gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
The gold was a symbol of royalty. Therefore, the gold was a symbol for accepting Jesus as the new king. The frankincense was used as an air freshener and was also used to worship gods. So, the frankincense was a symbol for his purity and holiness. Myrrh was used on animal sacrifices and to preserve dead bodies. Therefore, the myrrh was a symbol for Jesus' mortality and as a way to recognize that he was God's sacrifice to save the world.
When I was a child, I would put grass and a glass of water in a shoe box and put it under my bed. The grass and water was to feed the kings' camels. To say thank you, the kings would leave me a gift under my bed. My neighborhood is also very catholic so on Three Kings' Day there is a festival in front of my apartment building. The community builds huge puppets of the kings and their camels. There is a parade and many activities for the children too.
What traditions do you enjoy? Let's chat about them in the lobby next time!