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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Mexico series at SpanishPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential cultural information about Mexico, Mexican Culture, and Mexican People. In this lesson, we will keep learning about winter holiday traditions in Mexico. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 6 - The Three Wise Men Day
The Three Wise Men Day, or "Día de los Reyes Magos", is a time of great joy and happiness for most children in Mexico. In Mexico, only some families have adopted the North American inheritance of Santa Claus, mainly in Mexico City and other big cities like Guadalajara and Monterrey. But outside of these cities, children must wait a bit longer to receive their present. They must wait until January 6, the day Three Wise Men come to visit their houses.
The Three Wise Men bring lots of toys, or "juguetes", and candies, or "dulces" to the children of Mexico who have behaved well. In order to receive these presents, all children excitedly rush to bed early on January 5th, and make sure to put a shoe, or "zapato", representing each family member in front of their Christmas Trees.
It’s also common for kids to leave some food, such as a glass of milk and cookies, for the Three Wise Men and their animals. Usually after midnight, while the children are asleep, the parents will wake up and hide all the presents around the house, to add some fun to this holiday!
Most of the kids wake up earlier than usual, looking for the letter, or "carta", on their shoes, that tells them that the Three Wise Men came, and also includes some comments about their behavior during the year. Then they will spend the morning looking for the hidden toys and gifts. Like children in other countries write letters to Santa Claus, children in Mexico will write letters to the Three Wise Men, tying their letters to balloons that they let go of in town squares, parks, and schoolyards.
Many schools cancel classes, or prepare special events for the kids to enjoy, bringing their new toys to play with their classmates. On the evening of January 6, families will gather to eat a special glazed bread covered with dried fruits, called "Rosca de Reyes". This bread isn’t just a sweet treat, it also has plastic figure of the baby Jesus inside, a symbolic reference to how he had to be hidden and protected during the Massacre of the Innocents held by Herod or Herodes. The people that find the hidden figures in their bread portion are supposed to host a party on February 2nd, after the Candlemass.
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Do parents hide presents on a similar holiday in your country as well?
Leave a comment telling us at SpanishPod101.com! Until next time!

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SpanishPod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
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Do parents hide presents on a similar holiday in your country as well?

 

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Tuesday at 1:01 pm
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Hola Gracey,


Thank you for sharing.

That sound like nice presents to wake up to in the morning. :thumbsup:


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Gracey
Friday at 2:49 pm
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At the private school I used to go to when I was young they had us put shoes out for Santa. And they would put candy in there. This kind of reminds me of that.


:smile:

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Tuesday at 12:30 pm
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Hola Peregrina del Corazon,


Thank you for sharing!

This will be of great help for everyone!

Don't forget to let us know if you have any question, regarding the lessons.


Gracias,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Peregrina del Corazón
Sunday at 8:28 am
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Thanks for this interesting Cultural File: Mexico series. It is good to get more insight into some traditions that have had some exposure to and others that I have not be familiar with.


Regrading this lesson, it would be helpful if you included "Los Reyes Magos" "The Three Wise Men" in the vocabulary list. I am creating a set of flashcard with the words from this series and thought I might add "Reyes Magos" to that through the Dictionary or the my word bank, but I did not see a way of doing that. Then, in my word bank, I noticed a lesson connected with that phrase and was able to add it from the vocabulary list of Advanced Audio Blog #10 - The 3 Wisemen (Spain):


https://www.spanishpod101.com/index.php?p=512#lc_vocabulary_list


In case anyone else is interested.


Thanks again!

SpanishPod101.comVerified
Saturday at 2:45 pm
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Hola Jim,


Thank you for sharing!

Gracias por compartir!


Stay tuned, we have a new lesson for you every week.


Saludos,

Carla

Team SpanishPod101.com

Jim
Tuesday at 3:23 am
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I am half-Greek, and there is an Epiphany-like tradition for Greeks that is similar, but my family changed some things. Because we couldn't all get together on Epiphany and because other Greeks often did the same, we celebrated this on New Year's, but we understood it the same way as like the Epiphany celebration, though we secularized it somewhat. Instead of a baby Jesus, my yiayia (Greek for grandmother - mi abuela) would bake a coin into the sweet bread (which also didn't have fruit - but the bread was quite rich). We would divide the bread into slices; the oldest would pick their slice first and so on all the way to the youngest. We each got a slice of bread. Whoever received the slice with the coin was supposed to have good luck for the entire year (which is what I meant about it being secularized to New Year's and somewhat away from the original tradition). The woman I love is Puerto Rican, and her family has a similar tradition, and I think the particulars of the tradition are slightly different than what is presented here. But, what's interesting is that though my heritage is Greek, and she had no knowledge of Greek traditions, we were able to bond over something that most other Americans do not celebrate or know anything about. In any event, I love the tradition of the Bosca de Reyes, or what we call in Greek - Vasilopita (because it also refers to St. Basil).