Friday, January 6, 2006

Three Kings Day brings sweets and reminders of the continuing Christmas story

At a time when most Nashville businesses have taken down their Christmas decorations and wrapped up the holiday sales season, the Tennessean reports in this article that the holiday season is not over for some Hispanic businesses. Pastry and party sales are up in anticipation of the Christian holiday Three Kings Day, which is popular in Mexico and across Latin America and also celebrated here in Middle Tennessee.

"This morning, many children in Mexico and Mexican immigrants in the United States will awake hoping they received gifts overnight."

"To them, this is the El Dia de Reyes, the Day of the Three Kings celebration, a joyous cultural and religious observance that commemorates the biblical story of the Magi, or wise men, who traveled from different nations to Bethlehem bearing gifts for the newborn Jesus."

"As part of the festivities, family and friends will eat Rosca de Reyes, a traditional ring-shaped bread, and tamales with hot chocolate."

"By Wednesday afternoon, orders for the ring-shaped bread had picked up at Aurora Bakery, an international bakery on Nolensville Road."

"Ivette Miranda, whose father owns Variedades Latinas, a party shop on Nolensville Road, said in El Salvador families have a special meal together on Jan. 6 but usually exchange fewer gifts than other families."

"But there is a cultural sway in the United States among Mexican children toward Dec. 25 being the time for gift exchanges, said Maricruz Figueroa, who works for Hispanic ministry at St. Edward Catholic Church on Thompson Lane in Nashville."

"'In the Southwest, it is big and I know families celebrate as a way to hold on to traditions they had in Mexico. I do not think children complain about getting gifts in December and in January.'"

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