Learn about the history of their majesties the Magi of the East

They are named for the first time in the Bible , more specifically in chapter two, verses 1 to 12 of the Gospel of Saint Matthew , where it is said that three magicians, it is assumed that they were astronomers who were known as magicians at the time, They travel from the East on the back of their camels following a star to Bethlehem to worship the baby Jesus, bringing him 3 presents, one each, consisting of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

These sages were guided by the prophecies of the Old Testament in which it is said that in Bethlehem of Judea the King of the Jews was to be born. The king of Galilee, Herod , also knew the prophecies and fearful that the Messiah who was to be born would take away his throne, he pointed out to the wise men the way to Bethlehem in exchange for being told where the little king was when he returned from the visit. The magi did not pay attention, because in a dream they had the revelation that they should not see Herod again and they avoided it by returning by another way.

The Benedictine monk Bede described Their Majesties in the fourteenth century in a manuscript as follows: ‘Melchior, an old man with white hair and a long beard of the same color; Gaspar, younger and blond; and Baltasar, a black man . From these descriptions he deduced that they represented Asia, Europe and Africa respectively.

The star that guided them has gone down in history as a probable comet or luminous meteorite.

  The tradition of the Magi in our days

Undoubtedly, with the passage of time they have become characters very loved by children and this event is commemorated on the night of January 5 and / or the morning of January 6, mostly in Portugal, Spain and Latin America. That night the children leave their shoes and, the next day, if they have behaved well all year, they receive toys and if not, sweet coal. It is also customary to leave food and drink for the kings to “recover” from the trip, as well as water for the camels.

Previously, the children write a letter asking Their Majesties for the gifts they want and also tell them how their year has been and how they have behaved. In addition to this, and by tradition, in all Spanish cities and in places as diverse as Mexico, Poland or the Czech Republic, the Three Kings Parade is celebrated, a parade in which Their Majesties walk through the city throwing candies to the children who they await you.

Finally, we should highlight the Roscón de Reyes , a sweet that cannot be missed in any house in the days before the Night of the Twelfths. It is a rich thread decorated with candied fruits and that hides a bean and a doll inside. The legend says that whoever gets the bean pays the roscón and whoever gets the doll will be lucky.

We can only wish, after knowing a little better the history of the Magi , that I hope they bring you everything you have asked for.

Happy Twelfth Night and happy new year!

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