I’ve always loved the way Epiphany (the coming of the 3 kings/wise men) is celebrated in Spanish culture. Most Americans don’t make a big deal out of the January 6th holiday that is the traditional end of the 12 days of Christmas. I studied abroad in Spain in college and fell in love with the culture, and was *this close* to moving there in my mid 20s. I thought it would be fun this year to celebrate Epiphany with my kids and teach them about the holiday. This post is a part of the Christmas Around the World Series hosted by my friends over at Multicultural Kid Blogs. Visit the main page here and the Pinterest board here.
1. Dress up as the three kings and read the story from the The Jesus Storybook Bible. Make crowns with construction paper and use towels and bedsheets to have a little Epiphany pretend play. Alternatively you could use the figures in your nativity set to bring the story to life. Read the story together and act it out with the figurines or yourselves dressed up. If you choose to dress up, have your own Epiphany parade around the house while “We Three Kings” plays on the stereo.
2. Bake/buy/or create a Roscon de Reyes with your kids. Here’s a recipe you can use. If you don’t want to bake it, buy glazed donuts and let your kids decorate them with dried fruit or sprinkles. The cakes traditionally come stuffed with a baby Jesus figurine and a fava bean. The person who finds Jesus gets to be king for a day, and the one with the bean has to buy the cake next year. Those seem like choking hazards with preschool kids, so we’ll probably just stick with the donuts. 🙂 If you don’t want more sweets in your house, help your kids create a Roscon de Reyes out of playdough for sugar free fun.
3. Prepare for a visit from the three kings. Have your children leave their shoes out at the end of their beds, under the Christmas tree, or on a windowsill for the kings to fill with treats. Leave a bucket of hay (or something else fitting) for the camels to eat, and treats and wine (hello!) for the “three kings”. While your kids sleep fill their shoes with treats – nuts, fruit, candies, etc. On the morning of the 6th talk about the gifts the kings brought to Jesus. You could even bring out gold jewelry to let them touch and hold it, and buy frankincense and myrrh essential oils to let them smell it and have a sensory experience.
Do you celebrate Epiphany at your house? How do you teach your kids about the holiday?
How fun! I love all of these traditions – my kids would love acting out the Three Kings story! And great tip about making a play dough Roscon de Reyes – I’m sure it is wonderful, but there are so many sweets this time of year!