Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Promise to the Kings.

As I mention before the 6th of January is very celebrated here in Puerto Rico. Its a time where children receive gifts brought to them in tradition by the Three Magic Kings. But some families carry on a tradition of having a special celebration for this occasion. I had been told that there are some special places where great feasts were held on the 5th of January to receive the Magic Kings.

I went ahead and visited for myself, to see the festivities. First we went to the town of Isabela where in the area of Guajataca, the first celebration would be held. In the residence of a 93 year old local woman, who is responsible for maintaining this tradition. The whole neighborhood is invited to attend where music, beverages and food are available to the enjoyment of everyone. All expenses are covered by the family hosting the celebration.

The activity is done every year as a promise to God. This being the case and where all the locals are from a very strong religious background, the activity is held no mater the situation. Like we would say, the show must go on no mater what.

Once there you can see hundreds of person from many different places enjoying the food and the music all after the initiation of the activity has taken place. Before anything else takes place, all that are present start by praying "El Rosario" or the Rosary. Invoking the presence of God and giving thanks for all the good that has been given. After this takes place, every one continues to party.

I went on to meet many people, and was there till 2:00am, when at this time I was told that we were heading to another location where there was a similar activity taking place. This time we were heading to the town of Quebradillas in a sector called "Cacao".

It was about a 30 minute drive from where we were to the new location. once we arrived we could see all the cars parked along both side of the local road. Arriving approximately at 2:30am, I was surprised to see that many persons were still arriving not leaving. We got out of our cars and walked about 5 minutes to the location. It is a private residence, where a local artisan had made a living out of carving figures of the Three Kings. The story goes that business went so well, that the family decides to throw a party for all to come. Again food an drinks are on the house, music is lively and everyone is singing and dancing to the local Christmas carols or "aguinaldos". A small chapel was made in the residence premises to honor the three Kings. Know to the locals of Quebradillas as "El Portal de Los Reyes"(shown in part in the pic above).

The activity is know to be held from 6:00am on th 6th till 6:00am on the 7th. I can say that i was there till 4:00am of the 7th and still there were persons arriving to the site. Many awaiting the traditional "asopao de pollo" or chicken stew, which is know to give you strength after being up late at night.

Definitely a must do for my next year activity plan.

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