Last night was the Twelfth Night of Christmas (remember the 12 Days of Christmas?).
Adoration of the Magi, by Jan de Bray
This was a very special night. Children around here go early to bed, for the Three Wise Men visit their homes and leave them presents. So today was an exciting morning for most kids!!!!
The Christmas Season around here isn't over until the day after the 12th Day of Christmas. That is January 6th. In most Latin countries, this day is called the Day of the Three Wise Men, and it's a big holiday. In some places, Santa doesn't leave presents, it's these three men who do so. That's how important it is.
In my hometown, children do get their presents on Christmas Day. However, my family is quite fortunate, because our children receive presents on both days. Oooooh, very special.
Baby Jesus brings toys on Christmas and the Three Wise Men bring clothes today. That's why Chrismas isn't really over until today. We can't get the tree down earlier. Where would the Magi leave the stuff?
My girl was very excited.
The celebrations continue until later at night, for we celebrate with a bread ring, the famous Wise Men Ring (or Rosca de Reyes), and hot chocolate. And this is a tradition all Mexican families celebrate.
The whole tradition is this:
Families and friends gather together to "cut the ring". Each person takes turns cutting their own piece of ring, for there's a surprise hidden in it.
A tiny plastic or china doll is hidden in the bread!!!
The person who gets the doll, gives everyone tamales a month later, on February 2nd, Groundhog Day.
Tsk. Look at my brother almost eating the doll! :D
So today was a very fun day. We started early with my daughter opening up her presents, and then it was "ring cutting" all day long. This tradition is fun, because some rings have many dolls, others have only one or two. Some people make a twist out of the tradition, and give something to the person who gets the doll. The best thing is, you can do several "ring cuttings"; bakers start making the ring a couple of days early, so there are cuttings at work, with friends, with families. Very delicious. And very joyful.
Now off to get the Christmas decorations down- like most of you have by now.
Did you have fun over the holidays?