Home Culture Brief history of the Three Wise Men

The story of the holy kings, who guided by the star of Bethlehem found the place where the son of God had been born, is truly fascinating. However, there are not many details about its origin, history and route. Here we bring you one more of the stories of the magicians of the East.

The Gospel tells how some Wise Men from the East were led by a star to worship the king of the Jews, who had just been born.

The only allusion to these characters appears in the Gospel of St. Matthew, in which some “magi” are mentioned, without giving names or quantity. The origin of the Magi, as we know them today, comes from a long medieval tradition that baptized them as Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar.

January 5 is the night in which everyone, at some point, has enjoyed the illusion that the Magi bring us the long-awaited gifts. “Dear Magi, Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar” was the obligatory heading of our respective letters of request.

The custom of leaving the shoes of each member of the family comes from a curious legend, which according to Nat Geo says that:

“… two friends of the baby Jesus, saddened to see him always barefoot due to the poverty of his family, wanted to give him their own shoes; but as they were used, in an attempt to make them look new, and to make them look better, the generous children tried hard to clean them to the maximum, so they washed them and left them at night on the balcony to dry. The next day, miraculously the shoes appeared full of gifts and sweets as a reward for his good heart…”

When leaving the shoes, you should not forget to leave water and some vegetable for the camels, and a glass or glass of milk for the Kings.

The most anticipated day of the year, in terms of gifts, cannot leave aside its strong gastronomic part. Splitting the “Rosca de Reyes” has become a desired and expected custom, both in our homes and in schools, jobs, offices and meetings of friends.

Finding the Child God inside and “touching” his figure will be the complement of a great celebration and the announcement of an excellent year, which we will tie, inviting the tamales of February 2, Candlemas Day.

The photo with the Three Wise Men has been a tradition for several decades and was an excellent pretext to go for a walk in the squares and parks of different parts of Mexico. Perhaps with some of the restrictions still in force, we should settle for observing the beautiful images of the Three Wise Men that are published on the Internet, embodied by the masters Botticelli, El Bosco, Rubens, El Greco and Velázquez, among others.

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