Monday, January 05, 2009

Celebrating Three Kings in Orlando

No children at home but so many at school. So I took a survey. Funny how so many of the Venezuelan and Colombian students all said they also celebrated The Three Kings and would it be a valid excuse if they were absent tomorrow, you know for religious reasons? Of course I was of no opinion. This is not to say people from Venezuela or Colombia don't celebrate the coming of the Magi, since the Catholic Church celebrates it world wide as the Epiphany. This is the day when the Wise Men, assumed to be three because of the gifts they bore, came to worship the Messiah.

By the time they came to see Jesus he was no longer in a manger but in a house still in Bethlehem, and probably an infant, perhaps starting to walk or walking (see Matthew 2:11-12). I don't assume to be a Bible scholar by any stretch of the imagination. But we know they came. Exactly how they came is the question. It was probably on camels, but since in Puerto Rico, camels well weren't readily available, folklore has it that they had horses transport the Magi or Wise Men. There are Arabian horses, aren't there?

So kids in Orlando, just like their cousins back in Puerto Rico go look for grass and water to put under their beds tonight, hoping for a gift tomorrow. I asked them. My ninth graders and some tenth graders proudly, with eyes opened wide, said yes, of course they did. I told one group, that I got grass for "Los Reyes" until I was in my twenties. (None of them laughed, to my surprise.) This is not like Christmas, where you only have to be a good kid. No, for the Three Kings, you have to work a little. Though I had long known who was the "Three Kings" in my house, since daddy was a traditionalist having come from Mayaguez, he said to me in no uncertain way, " si no hay yerba, no hay regalos." (No grass, no presents.) I never questioned him on that point again.

Now my daughter, who resides in New York, already had her little girls secure the grass and the water for the horses, tonight. She let me know with an "all done" on Facebook. I wish she would take a picture. Children grow so fast and we seldom record something so special and magical. The delicate and tricky part will take place later tonight when she will be getting the supplies to the horses without disturbing the sleeping children and then disposing of the grass without being detected. Little cat's feet are required stealthily as they go. I know, because I worked with the Kings one time, I'll have you know.


Ana said...

Sorry, no picture. This morning the kids woke up and groggily looked under their bed to find the grass and water empty, and noticed that the king's horses and camels were a bit messy, leaving some grass clipping on the towel.

They each found a bag of stickers, and pens and little notebooks, which they got to look at for few minutes before rushing off to breakfast and the bus.

Elba said...

I think it is the process that is the most fun. Getting the grass, putting it in the shoebox, and then placing it under the bed. You can't exactly bottle the process or the expectancy or excitement the kids usually feel. Happy Three Kings Day!
Besos, Mami