Category Archives: Religious Observance

Día de los Reyes Magos, Three Kings Day, Magi

6 de Enero – January 6
Dia de los Reyes Magos, Day of the Holy Kings, Day of the Magi or Feast of Epiphany.

Feast of Epiphany, Day of the Magi, or Day of the Holy Kings is a Christian feast, traditionally observed on  January 6, 12 days after Christmas, celebrating the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Three Magi.

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Christian Christmas scene with the three wise men and star symbolizing feast of the Epiphany. Photo: BigStockPhoto.com/ | losw

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Nativity Scene with the Holy Family, the Three Kings. Photo © 2014 Copyright Joseph Tyson

Family celebrations and gift giving commemorates the gifts of the Magi. Rosca de los Reyes (King’s spiral Loaf) pastries are baked with a little plastic doll hidden inside.

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Rosca de los Reyes (The King’s spiral Loaf) pastries are baked with a little plastic figurine or doll (1 or more depending on size of  pastry) hidden inside. Photo ©  Joseph A. Tyson

Plastic figurines or dolls hidden inside a Rosca de Reyes pastry. Photo © Joseph A. Tyson

Plastic figurines or dolls hidden inside a Rosca de Reyes pastry.
Photo © Copyright Joseph A. Tyson

The Day of the Three Kings honors the wise men – Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar – who traveled to Bethlehem with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the baby Jesus. In México, El Día de los Tres Reyes is celebrated on January 6th with dinners and family get-togethers, and offers the last seasonal opportunity for children to open presents. The holiday is also notable for its signature treat, a circular sweet bread called rosca de reyes . A miniature representation of the baby Jesus is hidden inside the bread, and the person who finds it is expected to throw a tamales party for Candlemas on February 2nd, the date that marks the official end of the holiday season.

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The Star of Bethlehem is a watercolor painting by Sir Edward Burne-Jones depicting the Adoration of the Magi with an angel holding the star of Bethlehem. It was commissioned by the Corporation of the City of Birmingham for its new Museum and Art Gallery in 1887, two years after Burne-Jones was elected Honorary President of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists. At 101 1/8 x 152 inches, The Star of Bethlehem was the largest watercolor of the 19th century. It was completed in 1890 and was first exhibited in 1891.

January the 6th is a special day in Mexico. Known as ‘El Dia de Reyes’ (Three Kings Day), this holiday represents the height of the Christmas season. The date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas and commemorates the three wise men who traveled from afar, bearing gifts for the infant baby Jesus. The children of Mexico in particular look forward to this holiday as traditionally, gifts are exchanged on this date, not on Christmas day.
Source: http://www.mexonline.com/history-lostresreyes.htm

Festivities:
 These are traditional holidays to honor religious events

All Saints’ Day, Día de Todos los Santos

November 1 – All Saints’ Day, Día de Todos los Santos – All Saints’ Day

Dead relatives and loved ones 18 years and younger are honored on All Saints’ Day, which precedes Day of the Dead. Candles, food, and flowers are left on graves and altars. This day, like many, blends ancient pre-Columbian and Catholic traditions. It is not a state holiday.

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All Saints – The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs (about 1423-24) Tempera on wood, 31,9 x 63,5 cm. Painting by Fra Angelico in the National Gallery, London. Photo:  http://en.wikipedia.org/

All Saints’ Day (also known as All Hallows, Solemnity of All Saints or The Feast of All Saints) is a solemnity celebrated on November 1st by the Catholic Church, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Catholicism, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. All Saints’ Day is the second day of Hallowmas, and begins at sunrise on the first day of November and finishes at sundown. It is the day before All Souls’ Day.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Saints%27_Day

 

 

Good Friday, Viernes Santo

April 3, 2015 – Good Friday (Viernes Santo)

Good Friday (Viernes Santo) is a bank holiday in Mexico prior to Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday. Christians remember Jesus’ crucifixion and death on this day.

12th Station of the Cross, Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross.

12th Station of the Cross, Crucifixion: Jesus is nailed to the cross.
Photo: www.bigstockphoto.com | zatletic

12th Stations of the Cross, Jesus dies on the cross.

12th Station of the Cross, Jesus dies on the cross.
Photo:www.bigstockphoto.com | zatletic

Good Friday is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of Passover. It is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday,or Easter Friday though the latter properly refers to the Friday in Easter week.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Friday

Civic holiday
Observed nationwide, but employees are not entitled to a day off with pay.

Holy Thursday, Maundy Thursday or Jueves Santo

April 2, 2015 – Holy Thursday,  Maundy Thursday or Jueves Santo

Maundy Thursday (Jueves Santo) is a bank holiday in Mexico prior to Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. Jesus’ last supper is remembered on this day.

Photo of a painting of the Last Supper.  www.bigstockphoto.com | by zatletic

Photo of a painting of the Last Supper. Photo: bigstockphoto.com/ | by zatletic

Maundy Thursday is the Christian feast, or holy day, falling on the Thursday before Easter. It commemorates the Maundy and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels. The date is always between 19 March and 22 April inclusive, but these dates fall on different days depending on whether the Gregorian or Julian calendar is used liturgically.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maundy_Thursday

Last Supper, photo of a fresco painting on the ceiling of a church.  www.bigstockphoto.com | zatletic

Last Supper, photo of a fresco painting on the ceiling of a church.
Photo: bigstockphoto.com/ | by zatletic

HOLY THURSDAY is the most complex and profound of all religious observances, saving only the Easter Vigil. It celebrates both the institution by Christ himself of the Eucharist and of the institution of the sacerdotal priesthood (as distinct from the ‘priesthood of all believers’) for in this, His last supper with the disciples, a celebration of Passover, He is the self-offered Passover Victim, and every ordained priest to this day presents this same sacrifice, by Christ’s authority and command, in exactly the same way. The Last Supper was also Christ’s farewell to His assembled disciples, some of whom would betray, desert or deny Him before the sun rose again. http://www.catholic.org/clife/lent/thurs.php

Domingo de Ramos, Palm Sunday

March 29, 2015 – Domingo de Ramos – Palm Sunday

Christians in Mexico celebrate Palm Sunday, which honors Jesus Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday (Domingo de Ramos) is held 7 days before Easter Sunday and marks the start of Holy Week (Semana Santa) in Mexico. Churches are decorated with palms to celebrate the story of Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey.

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Jesus on Palm Sunday. Painting at the church altar. Photo: www.bigstockphoto.com/ by zatletic

Civic Holiday:  Like statutory holidays, these are observed nationally. But, unlike statutory holidays, it is not mandatory to provide employees with a paid day off or holiday pay.