Also known as the Reyes Magos de Oriente. Wise is the name by which the Catholic tradition called visitors (three
according to the predominant consideration) who, after the birth of Jesus, would come from foreign countries to pay tribute to him and deliver rich symbolic gifts: Gold, incense and myrrh.
These "magicians", according to the Catholic belief, were representatives of pagan religions of neighbouring peoples and therefore sees in the Gospel, the first fruits of Nations receiving, by the incarnation, the good news of salvation.
In some countries (usually Spanish speakers) there is tradition represent Kings bringing gifts to the children they have asked in his letters during the night before Epiphany. But in other countries is called "Beehive Cluster" to this representation.
The word "Magician", comes from the Elamite that happening by Persian and the acadio became the Greek as Μαγός and from there to the Magi (cf.Masters) Latin where arrived in Spanish. They were members of the priestly caste medo-persa aqueménide era and throughout the reign of Darius the median.
Catholic figure of the Magi has its origin in the accounts of the birth of Jesus, some were integrated in the canonical Gospels that today make up the New Testament of the Bible. Specifically the Gospel of Matthew is the only biblical source that mentions a few magicians (although not specified the number or the title of "Kings") who, after following a supposed star, seek out the 'King of the Jews who was born"in Jerusalem, guiding them such such star until Jesus born in Bethlehem, and who offered offerings of Gold, incense, and myrrh. Ancient traditions that were not collected in the Bible, such as the so-called Gospel of Pseudo Thomas (or children of Thomas Gospels) 2nd century, however, give your number and assigned name: Melchor, Gaspar and Balthasar, possibly priests from Persian zoroastristas . The names are also different according to the Syriac tradition. According to subsequent interpretations the Magi were considered originating in Europe, Asia, and Africa respectively.
Most widespread tradition has it that came from East, number three, and that were guided by a (celebérrimamente known as the star of Bethlehem) star that led them to Bethlehem. There they sought out the newborn infant Jesus and he worshipped, offering gold (his real nature as given present representing Kings), incense (representing his divine nature, used in the cult on the altar of God) and myrrh (an embalsamador compound for the dead, representing the suffering and future death of Jesus). Before, found the King Herod the great in the city of Jerusalem, who shrewdly asked them to return, to speak with him to give the exact site where was this child; news and power, he also go to worship him. (Actually, what I wanted was killing him, therefore ordered the massacre of the innocents).
The story still how an angel appeared to the three Magi and warned of the danger that ran Jesus if they obeyed the desire of Herod. Thus, not returned by the same site. It seems that only by the fact that the Gospel story indicate brought three gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh), was assumed were three characters bringing them. Although also sometime different traditions have pointed out that they were four, seven, and up to twelve.
First comes the name with which we now know to the three Kings is the Church of St. Apollinaris Nuovo, Ravenna (Italy). The frieze of the image is decorated with mosaics from the middle of the 6th century depicting the procession of the Virgin. This procession is driven by three characters dressed in the fashion Persian, touched with a Phrygian cap and your attitude is the go to deliver what lead hands the Virgin who is sitting on a throne and has the child in his left knee. Top of their heads can read three names from right to left: Gaspar, Melchior, Balthassar...
Little by little tradition has been adding other details by way of symbology: they have been known in antiquity the three races representatives, representatives of the three ages of man and representatives of the three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe).
The arrival of the wise men is also a subject in the apocryphal Gospels. According to tradition esoteric applied to Christianity, these characters come from the place where the Prester John.
Another legend has it that, after the resurrection of Jesus, the apostle Thomas found them in Saba. There were baptized and enshrined bishops. Then were martyred in 70 and deposited in the same coffin. The remains were brought to Constantinople by St. Helena. Frederick I, in the 12th century, then moved to Cologne, where today lie with the crowns that supposedly led during its existence. Thousands of pilgrims began to arrive in Cologne, which resulted in 1248 begin the construction of the Cologne Cathedral, which would take over 600 years finish it. Today is one of most impressive Gothic Europe. Colony has become together with Rome and Santiago de Compostela in one of the major centres of pilgrimage. There are also legends speak of a fourth King magician.
Customs related to the three kings
Representation of the Auto de los Reyes Magos, 1956, ChurraIn Spain, with the recent introduction of Santa Claus in the Christmas usual due to the influence of American culture and other foreign countries, it is traditional to the Christmas gifts to children the Magi them bring the night of 5 to 6 January. Soon, children must send them a letter to the Kings asking the gifts you want as well as indicate the merits which deserve receive gifts. The night of January 5 children must leave their shoes somewhere in the House. The next day there are gifts or, in case it was bad, coal instead. On 6 January is usually festive nationwide, but being regional party depends on the authorities of each region its establishment. Does not therefore consideration of national holiday. Adults also receive gifts. It is typical breakfast the Roscón Kings, in Spain typically contain a Christmas figurine inside.
In some countries of hipanoámerica there of Spaniards adopted habit of children (and by extension elders) receive gifts of the Magi, either on the eve, i.e. in the night of January 5, or 6 January morning (Argentina and Mexico). It is normal for children to write a letter to the Kings requesting gifts wishing well as ensuring their good behaviour during the year since, according to tradition, bearing evil children receive fresh coal instead of gifts. Most postal services accept these letters. More recently has also begun the practice of writing from e-mail or even go directly to your web page.
The Magi receiving children in a mallSimilar to the Anglo-Saxon custom into Santa Claus, is common to Kings wizards appear in shops, gifts and shopping malls, where children have the opportunity to take a picture sitting on her knees and deliver the letter with their requests directly. Representation consists typically of a scenario with Thrones and characteristic symbols, such as figures or drawings of camels, the star, a mailbox and ornaments Eastern aspect. In the thrones is where they feel the Kings, usually characterized employees. Sometimes represent the three kings of tradition, but depending on the circumstances or the stage size, can include only one. Also accompanied by a page, distinctive character which is responsible for driving the children from where expect parents to Kings and collect letters.
In some places, the authorities organized the so-called Cabalgata de Reyes on January 5, during which the characters usually mounted on horses or floats, dressed in robes and crowns, instead of the Phrygian dress completely unknown. The next day, January 6, is festive national. That day the children enjoy their gifts.
In Spain, the Magi put gifts where children have left their shoes. Sweets are also left to give to the three kings and even water or food for camels, which is the means of transport.
Mexico is the second most important sanctuary of the world regarding the Tres Santos Reyes, located in the city of Tizimín, Yucatán; being visited by thousands of people during religious holidays in his honour held in late December and early January.
In Puerto Rico, the night of January 5 children run by the courtyard collecting grass. Put the grass in a shoe box and placed the box beside his bed. The grass is used to feed the camels. The Kings then leave gift boxes.
In Peru, has fallen into disuse give gifts to children on this date. It is usually is the so-called lowering of Kings, which consists of a family or community performs a small celebration while the birth is dismantled. When it comes to a community, it is customary to leave money while ornaments and figures are removed. This tradition has even come to private companies, which make this celebration among the members of the same.
Other customs of 6 January
It is interesting to note that, during the Spanish colonization, especially in Cuba and Puerto Rico, this day was rest for black slaves leaving to the streets to dance to the rhythm of their tamboras. This causes the name of The black Easter day is still known in some countries.
English-speaking countries spend 6 January dismount Christmas ornaments. This custom has also been extended to countries of Latin America, becoming the last day of the holiday season on January 6. Formerly held festivities on that occasion and cooked a cake hid a bean or a small silver coin. The person who was the bean or the currency was named Jewish King or Lord of the disorder and was forced to deal with that night celebrations. Eventually, the party was evolving and included dances masks and theatrical performances. This tradition originated in Spain to the typical Kings roscón (also called thread of Kings) takes on that day and a small surprise that hides inside. In Mexico, this thread has several small dolls plastic which represent the infant Jesus; person who at the time of starting the thread finds one of them, is responsible for making or invite tamales and atole on February 2, day of the Candelaria.
In the year 1601 lawyers in London was commissioned to Shakespeare a play titled Twelfth night and was represented before the Queen Elizabeth.
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