Celebrate Three Kings Day on Florida’s Historic Coast

The holiday festivities continue in Florida’s Historic Coast with celebration of Three Kings. 

Three Kings Day is celebrated throughout Latin American and recognizes when the three Biblical wise men – Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar—brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the infant Jesus in Bethlehem.  

Three Kings Day, or Día De Los Reyes in Spanish, falls on January 6 each year, and is the day the children of Spain and Hispanic countries receive presents much in the way children from other parts of the do on Christmas Day. However, instead of leaving milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, they leave water and grass for the camels and their shoes by the door with hopes that the three kings will leave them gifts in their shoes.

A special way to celebrate Three Kings Day in St. Augustine is with the city-wide light display “Nights of Lights.” The event is celebrating its 25th anniversary and runs through February 3, 2019. Nights of Lights has been listed among the top 10 holiday light displays in the world by National Geographic. And for good reason. White lights drape the city's unique Spanish Colonial architecture and glow from the sidewalks to the rooftops, over the Bridge of Lions, along historic buildings, public spaces, local hotels, restaurants and bed and breakfast inns throughout approximately 20 blocks of the Nation's Oldest City's historic district. This makes Nights of Lights unique by any standard.
 
"Three Kings Day is of central importance in Latin America and Spain and, by extension, to the many people visiting the oldest city in the nation," said Kathy Catron, director of communication for the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra Visitors and Convention Bureau. “We invite everyone to enjoy our festive celebration of Nights of Lights as part of their Three Kings Day celebrations with their families.”
 
Other countries around the world celebrate Three Kings Day such as Italy and Greece, where the Epiphany is celebrated in different ways. In Italy, stockings are hung by doors. In Greece, swimming competitions have people dive into the water to reach crosses thrown in for retrieval, which represents the baptism of Jesus.

Hispanics also celebrate the day by eating the “roscon de los reyes.” or ring-cake of the kings, which is decorated to look like a crown that a king would wear. The cake is topped with glazed fruits, representing the jewels on a crown. Buried inside it is a toy, often a statuette of baby Jesus. The person who finds it is said to have good luck for the entire year.