3 wise guys and other X-mas customs

Miguelillo 87

Senior Member
México español
I have a X-mas question, Here on Mexico the “person” who is uncharged of bring the toys for the children it’s not one, They are three, They are called “Los tres Reyes Magos” The three wise guys, Every 6 OF Jan they bring toy for the children, but also American culture is entering to Mexico and in too many homes, Children are receiving toys from Santa also!!!!! Not the same day obviously that Santa deliver the toys December 25th, But that’s not my question my question is On Mexico children received toys form the 3 wise guys, and some others from Santa and them.
In your country which “person (s)” give toys to the children of your country?
Santa is worldwide?
 
  • ireney

    Modistra
    Greek Greece Mod of Greek, CC and CD
    Miguelillo I think that the three wise guys bringing the gifts makes a lot of sense!

    In Greece it's Saint Basil , the 'equivalent' of Santa that brings the gifts. Originally he did so in the first of January but nowadays he does so at Xmas apparently (though the 1st of January still persists so as to give Greeks another gift-related Xmas headache)
     

    french4beth

    Senior Member
    US-English
    In the US, Santa Claus hands out the toys.

    In Quebec (not sure about the rest of Canada), the Christmas Fairy/ La Fée de Noël helps Santa to hand out the gifts.
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    imithe
    The expression is "The Three Wise Men" or "The Three Kings" - they are historically known as Caspar, Baltahzar and Melchior and are supposed to show the universality of the Christian message - that non_jews came to worship the infant Jesus. They reputedly arrived in Bethlehem on the twelfth night after the birth, having followed the Star which appeared in the East and guided them. They were known as Magi - members of an an ancient priestly cast from Persia (Iran).

    A "wise guy" is a very different thing than a "wise man" ;)

    Here in Ireland their arrival is the signal to remove one's Christmas decoration and is also known as both "Little Christmas" and "Nollaig na mBan" (Women's Christmas - a reference to the work which housewives are lumbered with over the Christmas season, and this is their day, when they should be feted and given a rest.).

    Santa Claus calls to children in Ireland on Christmas Eve. I have no idea when he started doing this, but he was certainly doing it in the 1950s.
     

    Miguelillo 87

    Senior Member
    México español
    On Mexico, their name are. Melchor, Gaspar y Baltazar.
    And sorry for the translation but if I has translated The name in Mexico to English will be like that.- The three Magician Kings" Los tres reyes magos"
     

    Miguelillo 87

    Senior Member
    México español
    KittyCatty said:
    Hi I know that lots of people call him Santa but I still hold Father Christmas very much in affection :)
    NOw I remebered when mi cousin came to visit us (she's from texas) she knows about 3 wise men, but she didn't know they hand out toys. IN U,K three wise men are known as.... As what????
     

    KittyCatty

    Senior Member
    English UK
    The Three Wise Men! Balthazar, Caspiar and Melchior - edit, I have repeated a lot of what maxiogee said - In the UK nativity story they turn up holding gold, frankincense and myrrh (have I spelt that right?:)). Sometimes they are known as the Three Magi. There's a famous poem of that title talking about their long ordeal of a journey, and they are known to have followed a star and to have arrived at their destination on twelfth night, the 6th of January. But we never celebrate this day especially, although it's bad luck to have Christmas decorations up after this date. We get our presents on 25th December, brought by Father Christmas and his sleigh. So we know of the wise men, but they don't bring our presents, they just feature in the nativity story.
     

    Miguelillo 87

    Senior Member
    México español
    Ah Kitty Caty, That’s what I wanted to know, so you know them but you don’t celebrated them.
    About decoration, Here on Mexico ALL families don’t get x-mas decorations out until 6 January ‘cause the Reyes Magos should leave the presents down the three, And some families don’t clear their houses until February 2nd Cause this day it’s Día de la candelaria, But that is another story.
     

    übermönch

    Senior Member
    World - 1.German, 2.Russian, 3.English
    In Germany it's the same as in USA, but Santa is called (St.)Nikolaus or Weihnachtsmann ("Christmasman"). In Russia the presents on 31.Deceber by Santa(called grandfather frost, Ded Moroz) and, just like in canada, there's a girl , "snegurochka", who helps him. There's also another odd santa wearing blue uniform, but i don't know what he does.
     

    moura

    Senior Member
    Portuguese Portugal
    In Portugal, there is still a mix between baby Jesus and Santa Claus - but infortunately to Christian tradition Santa Claus in winning.
    A few decades ago - when I was 9-10 years old - it was only baby Jesus that carried gifts. He came through the chimney during the night, and only in the morning of 25th December, did the children found the Christmas presents.

    Now Santa Claus is the presents responsable and he comes earlier - at midnight of 24th December, or even earlier if adults are sleepy and children keep their energies high.
    Together with Santa, the Christmas tree is also now spread everywhere, instead of Nativity scene (made with moss and little clay figures of Holy Family, the 3 Kings, the dunkey and the cow, sheppards, lambs, etc).
     

    emma1968

    Senior Member
    ITALY-italian
    In Italy we have Santa Claus who brings the gifts in the early morning of 25th december, and the "BEFANA" who brings, in the morning of 6 january, coal if the child has been a bad child, and candies if the child has been a good one.

    Our "BEFANA" is a sort of witch who comes with her broom.

    Edit: The befana leaves the objects in the socks.
     

    Bilma

    Senior Member
    USA
    Spanish Mexico
    Miguelillo 87 said:
    Ah Kitty Caty, That’s what I wanted to know, so you know them but you don’t celebrated them.
    About decoration, Here on Mexico ALL families don’t get x-mas decorations out until 6 January ‘cause the Reyes Magos should leave the presents down the three, And some families don’t clear their houses until February 2nd Cause this day it’s Día de la candelaria, But that is another story.

    At home(in Mexico) the Wise Men left the present inside (if possible) my shoe. The tradition is that kids leave a shoe so the Wise Men would put the presents there.:) We also left water for ¡the animals!:)

    http://www.nacnet.org/assunta/nacimnto.htm
     

    pickypuck

    Senior Member
    Extremaduran Spanish
    Bilma said:
    At home(in Mexico) the Wise Men left the present inside (if possible) my shoe. The tradition is that kids leave a shoe so the Wise Men would put the presents there.:) We also left water for ¡the animals!:)

    http://www.nacnet.org/assunta/nacimnto.htm
    In Spain it's the same. You must polish your shoes well! Apart from water for the animals, many children leave milk, biscuits, Christmas sweets or even spirits (some parents insist on this :D )... The evening before the 6th of January, in every city there's a procession where Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar throw tons of sweets, there are floats... Even in Alcoy, that day the page boys of the Three Wise Men access themselves the different houses through their windows or balconies and give the presents to the children.

    ¡Olé! :cool:
     

    Miguelillo 87

    Senior Member
    México español
    Bilma said:
    At home(in Mexico) the Wise Men left the present inside (if possible) my shoe. The tradition is that kids leave a shoe so the Wise Men would put the presents there.:) We also left water for ¡the animals!:)

    http://www.nacnet.org/assunta/nacimnto.htm
    By the way, I have never put my shoes, They left my toys down the Christmas tree and next to the “Nacimiento” Christmas scene, According to my mom they were riding their animals (elephant ,horse and camel) and when they reach your home, they get tiny and tiny until they6 are so small to pass down your door, And later they become big again, (obviously their animals stayed outside) and they hand out the toys.

    Well I think the way they reaches and hand out depends on every house, although it’s the same country, families has different traditions.
    For example I have 5 cousin who still receive gifts, 2 of each 5 don’t receive gifts form Santa only from Los Reyes Magos, the other 3 received gifts form both!! (what a lucky guys!!!!!)
     

    Bilma

    Senior Member
    USA
    Spanish Mexico
    Miguelillo 87 said:
    By the way, I have never put my shoes, They left my toys down the Christmas tree and next to the “Nacimiento” Christmas scene, According to my mom they were riding their animals (elephant ,horse and camel) and when they reach your home, they get tiny and tiny until they6 are so small to pass down your door, And later they become big again, (obviously their animals stayed outside) and they hand out the toys.
    That is so cute!:) Nice way to explain things to kids!:)
     
    The three wise guys...

    That is funny to my AE ears because it makes me think of the Three STooges - Larry, Moe and Curly. It's like a good title for a comedy sketch.

    But as you now know we call them the three Magi, three kings, the wise men etc...

    In France, it's Santa (Père Nöel) who brings the goodies!
     

    viera

    Senior Member
    English/French/Slovak
    In France we have 'la fête des rois' on January 6th. We eat a special cake: "la galette des rois", filled with almond paste and in which the baker has hidden a small figurine calle "la fève" (it used to be a dry bean). The person who finds "la fève" in his piece of cake is declared the king and gets to wear the crown (a golden paper crown supplied with the cake).

    It's a nice excuse for a simple get-together; at work it is common to share a "galette des rois".
     

    Miguelillo 87

    Senior Member
    México español
    viera said:
    In France we have 'la fête des rois' on January 6th. We eat a special cake: "la galette des rois", filled with almond paste and in which the baker has hidden a small figurine calle "la fève" (it used to be a dry bean). The person who finds "la fève" in his piece of cake is declared the king and gets to wear the crown (a golden paper crown supplied with the cake).

    It's a nice excuse for a simple get-together; at work it is common to share a "galette des rois".
    On Mexico, We have a costume which it seems to yours. But it’s call Rosca de reyes, There it’s a rosca where the baker hide a “Jesus” “it’s the figure of Baby Jesus” There you have to it a piece and the one who find the figure, has to prepare “los tamales” (typical food of Mexico)for February the 2nd , Día de la Candelaria, Sometimes are more than one, it depend on the size of he rosca.
     

    Bettie

    Senior Member
    Español-México
    Well, originally it wasn't under the tree where the the Wise Men leave the presents, because the tree is a new thing in Mexico I think 30 years old, before people only had the Nativity scene.
     

    Bilma

    Senior Member
    USA
    Spanish Mexico
    Bettie said:
    Well, originally it wasn't under the tree where the the Wise Men leave the presents, because the tree is a new thing in Mexico I think 30 years old, before people only had the Nativity scene.

    It had to be older than that I am 39 and I had a Christmas Tree.:)
     

    MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    In the USA the tradition is similar to what was mentioned about Ireland and the UK, naturally there are many sects and non-Chistians here so they do not all follow it. On Jan 6, little Christmas or the Epiphany (its official name) Christmas decorations are put away( although I have seen a few still up in July) some families share gifts and others do not.
    Some of the Eastern Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan 7.
    The three wise guys aren't they in the Maffia? Or the three stooges as already mentioned.
     

    danielfranco

    Senior Member
    Hi, Miguelillo!
    I grew up in Mexico City and we had our own personal customs, since we were protestant (and had been for generations, if you believe my gramps), so that the custom was to get presents on Christmas Eve. We were told we celebrated the birth of Jesus, and we were told all the charming stories about Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (Saint Nick, or Santa Claus, if you prefer), and also all the tales about the three magi. We did put our shoes on the front door threshold and got more presents on January 6th, but I think my dad did this so that we wouldn't be looked upon at school as weirdos. And we did eat the "rosca", but in our strange clan the baby-Jesus-eater would be in charge of the Valentine's Day dinner.
    I would think that Mexico City (even then, thirty-something years ago) is such an eclectic metropolis that you'll find many people doing many very different things to celebrate even such universal holidays as Christmas.
     

    Miguelillo 87

    Senior Member
    México español
    Thank you all for your answers, I’m really surprised about all your post, but I want to make a conclusion, it seems that in the Hispanic countries the three wise men are celebrated and they hand out gifts as Santa Claus does in other countries, So I suppose it comes form a Spanish tradition, But I still ant to know the opinion for the other Latin-American countries as Argentina, Honduras, Uruguay Do they have the same celebration? And what happened in Brazil?
     
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