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Airdate: Jan 05, 2006
Scientist: Ramon Acosta

Three Kings Day - The Magi

Three Kings Day - The Magi
One of our listeners returns to his homeland of Puerto Rico each year for the celebration of the Epiphany.

Transcript:
Three Kings Day - The Magi

Music; Ambience: night sounds, Coqui frogs

On the island of Puerto Rico, many Catholics celebrate January 6th as Three Kings Day. It's part of the annual Epiphany celebration --- marking the adoration of the infant Jesus by three wise kings from the East. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

On the eve of Three Kings Day, Puerto Rican children drift off to sleep hoping for a late-night visit from the three biblical kings known as the Magi. Before they turn in for the night, the children set out food and water for the Magi and their camels, who are said to have made a long and difficult pilgrimage. In return, the grateful Kings leave behind gifts for the sleeping children.

Acosta: The night before Three Kings Day, January 5th, the children go outside and cut grass for the camels, and they also also get some water. They put that grass in a shoe box under their beds. Then the Kings come that night, they leave them gifts under their beds. And the camels eat the grass and drink the water. Sometimes they make a little bit of a mess and you see some grass in the living room the next day. And the kids get up the next day and they play with their gifts.

Pulse of the Planet listener Ramon Acosta makes his home in Austin Texas. Each year he and his family return to Puerto Rico to celebrate Three Kings Day.

Acosta: Really our rituals revolve around getting together with family the night before. About having the kids cut the grass, and water for the camels. Having celebrations, music, drinks and food, and being with friends and family the night before.

Three King's Day is only one element of a long and festive Christmas season in Puerto Rico. A celebration that begins just after Thanksgiving and lasts until mid-January. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.