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How Three Kings Day Is Celebrated Around the World

The traditional celebrations vary from one country to another.

We’ve all heard of the Three Wise Men, aka the Three Kings, but did you know that they had their own holiday, too? January 6th is known as Three Kings Day and is celebrated around the world with a variety of unique traditions. Here are a few of our favorite from across the globe. 

Puerto Rican flag

1 of 6 Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, Three Kings Day is known as El Día de Los Reyes. On the eve of January 5th children put hay or grass clippings in their shoes for the camels that carried the Three Kings to Bethlehem. In the morning, the grass is gone, replaced with sweets and gifts.

English flag

2 of 6 England

You may have heard of Shakespeare’s play Twelfth Night, but did you know that it’s an actual holiday? At parties a traditional kings cake with one dried bean and one dried pea is served. The man who finds the bean becomes king for the night, and the woman who finds the pea is the queen.

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Polish flag

3 of 6 Poland

At the end of church on Epiphany, Polish parishioners receive boxes of chalk. Once at home, they use the chalk to write the year and Magi’s initials above every door to bless the house in the coming year.

Irish flag

4 of 6 Ireland

In Ireland, January 6th is known as “Women’s Christmas.” Nollaig na mBan (Null-ug na Mon), as it’s known in the Irish language, is a day for women to take a break from the holiday bustle and chaos. The men take over the cooking for the day while the women visit each other for tea and sweets.

Spanish flag in a mountain background

5 of 6 Spain

Spain celebrates Three Kings Day with food, family . . . and parades! While any town or city can put on its own Cavalcade of the Magi, or Cabalgata de Reyes Magos, the two most popular are the one in the capital city of Madrid and the cavalcade in the city of Alcoi, which has celebrated without interruption since 1866.

Ethiopian flag

6 of 6 Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, Epiphany is known as Timkat and is celebrated not on January 6th, but on January 20th, honoring the day of Jesus’s baptism. Ethiopian Christians dress in white and go to local waterways or sacred pools to recreate this holy moment.

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