Art News

Three King’s Day

In the Virgin Islands, we celebrate Three King’s Day on the 6th of January. In many parts of the world, it’s also called Epiphany or Twelfth Night. It occurs on the 12th day after Christmas. This day is a public holiday and most businesses and government offices are closed.

Historically, Three King’s Day is known as the day when the three wise men located the newborn Jesus after following a star for twelve days. It’s also the day when they presented him with three gifts. Many still hold to the tradition by giving children gifts on this day rather than Christmas day. Where children celebrating Christmas will leave milk and cookies for Santa, many who celebrate Three King’s Day remember putting a box of grass under the bed. The three kings would remove the grass for their camels and replace them with gifts.

Many places celebrate with a parade or procession and a retelling of the story of the Magi. On St. Croix,
the All Ah We Three Kings Day tramp and Cruzan-Rican Breakfast occurs on the day. This procession ends at the market where many put together food and serve it to the revellers.

Of course, the most important part is the food. This is the last of the holiday celebrations so a special
meal is usually served such as turkey, peas and rice, and kallallo. Traditionally, a dessert of Rosca de
Reyes or King’s Cake is served. It is shaped into a ring or bundt to represent a crown and a plastic toy
baby is hiding inside. Historically, whoever finds the toy, must host a party on Candlemas, Feb 2, for
when Baby Jesus was presented.

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