Day of the Three Wise Men

What do we celebrate on the Day of the Three Wise Men?

Also known as the "Epiphany," the Day of the Three Wise Men is a religious holiday that celebrates the arrival of Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar at the manger in Bethlehem, after a long journey from distant lands, following the "Star of Bethlehem", to give Jesus three gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

When is the Day of the Three Wise Men?

While the calendar shows January 6 as "Epiphany" (officially), the celebrations usually start earlier. On the afternoon of 5 January, big cities and small towns alike stage the parades typical of this holiday, giving way to the eagerly anticipated "Night of the Magi," which is very popular among little ones, since, as tradition has it, the Three Wise Men of the East leave the gifts they asked for in their letters under the Christmas Tree. 

Letter to the Magi

"Gifts" and "Three Kings Day" have always gone hand in hand. From the dawn of time. However, the passage of time has caused the initial concept to evolve (without losing its essence), making this holiday part of the year's best-known commercial period: Christmastime. It is characterized by a considerable increase in consumer spending, as people try to give children the gifts that, as tradition dictates, they ask for in their "Letter to the Magi."

What are the names of the Three Wise Men?

There are Three Wise Men: 

  • Melchior: he represented Europeans. I come to the Manger of Bethlehem with gold for the Baby Jesus. 
  • Gaspar: he represented Asians. I come to the Manger of Bethlehem with frankincense for the Baby Jesus. 
  • Balthasar: he represented Africans. I come to the Manger of Bethlehem with myrrh for the Baby Jesus. 

These names, those of the Magi, first appeared in the mosaic of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo (in Ravenna), in the sixth century AD.

How can I finance my Epiphany Day purchases?

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