The date of January 6th is Los Tres Reyes Magos, or Three Kings Day. It is just one of the many celebrations in San Miguel de Allende. The holiday is to commemorate the three wise following the star to baby Jesus. This is when children receive the majority of their gifts rather than Christmas Day. Several markets hold toy sales the evening before that go late into the night.
During the celebration families get together to eat Rosca de Reyes. It is a sweet bread shaped like a wreath. There is a small plastic baby Jesus doll baked into the bread. The person who gets the slice with the doll is obligated to host a party on February 2nd, Candlemas Day, or Dia de la Candelaria.
The day after Three Kings Day there was a lot going on in the Jardin. Groups were arriving in traditional clothing. We’re not sure if this was part of the Three Kings celebration or another celebration altogether.
We saw beautiful head dresses full of ornate feathers, some of them were several feet high. Many of the people had colourful face markings and cockle shell beads around their ankles. As each group arrived they went into the church to sing prayer songs at the altar. After exiting the church they starting dancing in the square to two large drums that were being played.
As the evening approached a sound system was set up. New groups showed up dressed in outfits that looked like Halloween or carnival costumes. We sat and watched as characters such as Tweety Bird and Mickey Mouse grooved to the music. Suddenly the dance area cleared and people dressed in kings costumes marched into the square to royal music. The other costumed folk returned and the dancing went well into the evening.
The night ended with fireworks shooting out of a large pole that was set up in the middle of the square. It had a spinning apparatus that was firing out pyrotechnics into the air. We joked about how all the excitement of this evening surpassed what happens in an entire year at home. There were at least half a dozen other holidays over the next two months, which meant more parades, music and fireworks.