Saturday, December 22, 2012

Letters to the Kings

I cannot believe it is almost Christmas!  Where did this month (or year!) go?  I seemed to have missed something.  Although I am glad to still be here after the winter solstice.  I guess the Mayans made a mistake!

I read this somewhere and found it very interesting.  So I thought I would share it with anyone who is reading here today.  Isn't it amazing how people over the entire world have similar beliefs and traditions even though they have differences enough to make each their own.  I really like this one.

Letter to the Kings (the Three Wise Kings, The Magi)

Each year, with the advent of Christmas, Spanish homes are filled with joy and enthusiasm. In Spain and the Spanish tradition countries, the Magi are celebrated with renewed hope. As the three Magi from the Orient did when worshiped the Child God by handing gifts, children and adults expect them to repeat the same gesture of generosity.

At the time, children helped by adults, write a letter to the Kings of The Orient, in which they detail, more or less, their behavior during the year (although the Kings already know) and which reflect their illusions and yearnings for the New Year. Also they write the gifts they want to receive. Closing the letter with real excitement, it's time to deliver it to the Kings. The letter can reach their Majesties by different paths. The first was delivered by hand to royal page, one of the most fun, beautiful and exciting. The king’s pages mounted the stage in which Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltasar receive children to take their letters and hear what gifts they want to receive, after verifying that they have behaved well and have been good.

Another way to deliver the letter is by mail. The latest way of delivering the letter, very typical in the Spanish tradition, is leaving it on the same king’s night, next to slippers, under the Christmas tree by the fireplace or in the window. Gifts at night, the Kings are dedicated to enter the homes of children, read the letters and leave gifts next to the slippers.

Whatever the method chosen to deliver the letter, the next morning, children and adults wake up full of excitement and they run alongside their shoes, where there is so miraculous gifts. Joy, excitement, and hope flood Spanish homes. It is one of the most magical nights of the year.

But all this tradition is associated with the behavior of children throughout the year, at times when children have not been well-behaved, they will not receive the gifts they expect. One of the things required by the Magi from the Orient is the kindness and good behavior in children. For those who during the year have not behaved well, the Kings did not bring gifts, but another kind of "gift", on the morning of January 6th children find coal. But as the Magi are not mean, coal given to children is a type of sweet coal, sugar, which they can eat, and it symbolizes the notice of the need for the child to change. 

 Until next time....

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