The Spanish Department, headed by Mrs. Ayala participated in La Dia de Los Tres Reyes cultural celebration this past Friday.
June 6th is the traditional day in Latin American countries, especially Mexico, in which a party is hosted to recognize the coming of the Kings. This day is often viewed as the end of the 12 days of Christmas, because it is exactly 12 days after Christmas and ends the two month holiday celebrations. This day commemorates the arrival in Bethlehem of the three Wise Men: Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthazar who followed the Star of Bethlehem, bearing gifts of gold (oro in Spanish), frankincense (incensia in Spanish) and myrrh (mira in Spanish) for the baby Jesus.
Traditionally children anxiously await waking up on January 6th to find toys and gifts left by the Reyes Magos (The Three Wise Men). In some regions, it is customary to leave out shoes in which gifts may be given by the visiting Wise Men.
The Dia de los Reyes is usually celebrated with a merienda (a light supper) consisting of hot chocolate, and the "Rosca de Reyes," which is a huge oval sweet bread with dry fruit, decorations, and sprinkled with sugar on top. Inside the bread, there is a ceramic doll which represents Baby Jesus.
Although this Tres Reyes celebration did not include gifts, it did include the passing on of knowledge and Latino culture from Mrs. Ayala, Ms. Davalos, and Mr. Olier about the history and importance of this date. It also included the great thrill of students each receiving their share of the Rosca de Reyes (Ring of the Kings) in which some of them found a baby Jesus inside. In Mexico, whoever finds a baby Jesus in their piece of bread hosts the last party of the holiday celebration and makes tamales for everyone in attendance. Alejandra Olivarez, a freshmen student in Ayala's Spanish for Spanish Speakers class was one of the first to find a little surprise while enjoying her bread.
The coloring, songs of the Holy Kings in the background, and the three Piñatas filled with candy also added to the cultural experience of the night.
"It was an interesting cultural experience," commented Olier, while attending his first cultural celebration since being a part of the CMHS Spanish Department teaching Spanish 1, 2, and 3.
Ayala and Davalos commented saying, "There were a lot more people that came this time compared to La Dia de Los Muertos, but the real party in May (Spring themed Spanish Camp) will be even more fun."
" I learned that there was the oro, the mira, and inscensio (gifts given to baby Jesus by the Three Kings)," commented Berenice Cervantes while her friend Maria Rojas added "I liked the rosca and the Pinata."
Alyssa Rosenthal, a 9th grade student in Davalos Spanish class, along with Mary Alban, a student in Davalos' AP Spanish class both stated they liked the "food and the extra credit."
Whether it was the piñata or the points that drove the students to want to participate in this event, overall "it was successful and a fun experience for everyone," concluded Davalos.