El día de Reyes / Los días de Reyes / Santos Reyes [Magos]

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Magg, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. Magg Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish

    As the Anglo-Saxon culture lacks the celebration of 'Los Reyes Magos' within the Christmas context, I was wondering which the better way for referring to it would be. I've heard several options and I'm not sure which is the right one.

    1. The Three Kings' Day
    2. The Three Wise Men's Day
    3. Epiphany's Day
    4. The Twelfht Night's Day

    As far as I know, I think the best way for addressing to the three people as biblical characters is 'The Three Wise Men', but no idea about the feast.

    On the other hand, the day before that day we also celebrate 'El Roscón de Reyes'. Could it be, for example, 'TheThree Wise Men's Day's Eve', as 'Christmas Eve' is for 'Nochebuena'.

  2. Philippa

    Philippa Senior Member

    Britain - English
    Hi Magg!
    What is the context you are referring to it in? Can't you just use the Spanish words (and explain what they mean)?
    I think it's referred to on calenders as Epiphany (but not many Brits would know what that really was! :rolleyes: :eek: ) and as 12th night (the only real significance being when you have to have your Christmas decorations down! :( ). I didn't know the Roscón de Reyes was the day before. I wouldn't, personally, call it anything-eve.
    Hope this helps, I have to go, the gas man is here!
    P.S. In the Bible there are only 3 gifts and not necessarily 3 kings! :D
  3. Magg Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    Sorry Philippa, you're right. I took for granted you had a slight idea about 'Los Reyes Magos'. It's nothing against you but it makes me think that we Spanish know much more about other national festivities than others do. At least I know when the Independence Day, is Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, Guy Fawkes, etc.... It was just a thought. :rolleyes:

    On 'El día de Reyes' we celebrate the day the Three Wise Men visited Baby Jesus briging him presents. So parents give presents to their children as you do on Christmas Day. The day before (5 January) is when the TWM are supposed to leave presents in houses during the night and there are big parades all over the country. Even the national TV broadacasts one of these parades in an important 'provincia' each year. It's called 'La cabalgata de Reyes'.

    The good thing is that we have also adopted the Anglo-Saxon celebration (Father Christmas) and children in Spain are really lucky because the're given presents twice, and don't go back to school until 7 January.
  4. Philippa

    Philippa Senior Member

    Britain - English
    Hey, I do have a slight idea about it!! :p :) (We had a whole lesson on Spanish Christmas customs last year in my evening class.) In the magazine I read in Mallorca it said that in 83% of households it's the Reyes Magos bringing presents and 17% it's Santa. Actually it didn't have a catergory for both!!! :D
  5. Magg Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish

    Your little faces in your post make me guess you didn't take offense at it. Even so, please, believe me when I say that it was a general thought, nothing to do with you personally. I'm glad to see you were taught about it. :thumbsup:
  6. Marc1 Banned

    Italian / Spanish / German.
    Epiphany is a well known celebration in any culture within the Christmas context, including England, Germany, US,Canada and does not "lack" .
    Some countries have chosen to emphasise the story of the wise men (by the way there is no proof they where three, could have been 2,4,7?) over the real reason for epiphany, that is the presentation of the baby in public.

    In the Christian church, the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple is a celebration of the presentation of the infant Jesus and the post-childbirth purification of Mary in the Temple, in accordance with Jewish law. The Greek Church calls it Hypapante ("Meeting") in reference to Jesus' meeting there with Simeon, to whom it had been revealed that he would not die before meeting the Messiah. The festival of the Presentation is first documented in Jerusalem in the late 4th century; the custom of observing it with lighted candles (the source of the name Candlemas) dates to at least the mid-5th century.

    So Epiphany is Epiphany, in Spain as anywere else. In Spain you choose to tell the story of the wise men on Epiphany, in other countries the 4 wise men take the place they deserve, that is very little mention back stage.

    So, to your question, how to call the day of Epiphany?
    Well I think Epiphany is a good choice. Little mention of the 5 wise men?
    Even better! :D
  7. Focalist Senior Member

    European Union, English
    Magg, these are Anglo-Saxons:
    "Anglo-Saxon culture" was knocked on the head by William the Conqueror over 900 years ago when the invading Normans killed the last Anglo-Saxon king at the Battle of Hastings in A.D. 1066.

    If what you are asking is, as I guess, what is the best way to refer in English to the Feast of the Epiphany as celebrated in Spain, why not do as Philippa suggested and just keep it in Spanish, together with whatever explanation you might wish or feel the need to add.

    See this example from a BBc for Schools page:

    I disagree with the BBC, however, when it claims 6 January to be the date of Twelfth Night. To me, the twelfth night of Christmas is the evening of 5 January, the Eve of the Epiphany. The fact that confusion reigns about the exact date of Twelfth Night just goes to show what a sadly moribund state some of the old traditions are in. All that many people seem to think about in the first week of January is the sales. :(

    BTW, the Three Kings can be called that, more commonly perhaps the Three Wise Men, less often the Magi.

  8. Magg Senior Member

    Spain / Spanish
    Understood :thumbsup:
  9. Masood

    Masood Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    British English
    de Como Agua...

    ...anoró con tristeza los días de Reyes de su infancia,...

    she yearned with sadness ......?...... of her infancy...

    qué significa los días de Reyes?
  10. belén

    belén Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    El Día de Reyes is on January 6th, it is the Latin equivalent of the Santa Claus day.

  11. pinza New Member

    You can translate it as "the three kings" or "the three wise men".
  12. Masood

    Masood Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    British English
    I'll give you the rest of the sentence:
    ..., en los que no tenía problemas tan serios.

    Would you still say it meant Jan 6th?
  13. pinza New Member

    Yes, I'm sure he's talking about Jan 6th. Those days, in his chilhood he had not very hard problems.

  14. Alundra

    Alundra Senior Member

    Nueva York de la Mancha
    España - Castellano
    Yes. When you are old, you remember or miss the childhood's days. In Spain, one of the most happy day is, for instance, Jan 6th.

    Please, correct me.:eek:
  15. Masood

    Masood Senior Member

    Leicester, England
    British English
    Te corrijo:
    Yes. When you are old, you remember or miss your childhood days. In Spain, one of the happiest days is, for instance, Jan 6th.

  16. Alundra

    Alundra Senior Member

    Nueva York de la Mancha
    España - Castellano
    Thanks, Masood. :thumbsup:

  17. flexi1 Senior Member

    English UK
    Would "Feliz Día De Reyes" be a normal greeting used today, is the same way we would use Happy Christmas for example?

  18. elbeto

    elbeto Senior Member

    I would use it, yes. But wait for others from other countries and beliefs ;)
  19. notanymog Senior Member

    spanish - chile
    In Spain and Argentina and other countries can be quite common. In Chile virtually none celebrates the day. In english it is called by the name of the Christian holiday, Epiphany day. More information:


    In Spain and Latin America

    In Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and some other Latin American countries Epiphany day is called El Día de los Reyes (The Day of the Kings). The day when a group of Kings or Magi of the Bible arrived to worship and bring three gifts to the baby Jesus after following a star in the heavens. This day is sometimes known as the Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (The day of the Three Magi) or La Pascua de los Negros (Holy Day of the Blackmen) in Chile, although the latter is rarely heard. In Spanish tradition, on the day of January 6th, three of the Kings: Melchor, Gaspar, and Balthazar, representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa, arrived on horse, camel and elephant, bringing respectively gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus.
  20. espangalo Member

    ¿Cómo se celebra este día en su lado?

    Muchísimas gracias
  21. elbeto

    elbeto Senior Member

    In Mexico, in the Christian (other than Catholic) context, no Epiphany celebration is held. The celebration of "revelation of God to mankind in human form" is held on the 25th of December.
    On the other hand, "Día de Reyes" is a major day in Mexico (see http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reyes_magos for more information), specially for children (lots of toys and gifts are received).
    We, in Mexico, use the expression "Felíz día de Reyes." I thought all Spanish speaking counties celebrated this day, but I'm learning not all of them do.
    Hope the information helps; it has helped me already.
  22. Memphis Tennessee Member

    Barcelona, Spain (català & spanish)
    En España, el día de Reyes (no de LOS Reyes), ha sido hasta ahora el mejor día para los niños/as de nuestro país, ellos reciben los regalos con gran ilusión, aunque es una tradición que no se ha perdido, también se ha introducido la figura de Papa Noel.
  23. johanaran Member

    Colombia, Español
    In Colombia we say "Feliz Dia de Reyes" on January 6th.
    And it refers to "Reyes Magos = Three Wise Men"
    It is a major day where people gives gifts to children
    (I know that most of people give gifts on this day because they couldnt afford it in December 24 or 25).
  24. e.ma Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    Por aquí se dice: "Felices Reyes".
  25. duffaphonic Member

    Philadelphia area
    USA English
    Aqui, en Camden, NJ donde hay muchos hispanos, no hay clases el Dia de los Reyes. El alcalde y dos otros politicos se visten como los Reyes Magos y dan aguinaldos a los ninos.
  26. Hery New Member

    I live in the north of Mexico (sonora) and we don´t exactly celebrate DIA DE REYES, we celebrate christmas in Dec 25th, in the three wise men´s day, we just eat ROSCA DE REYES, its a bread like a donut (KINGCAKE maybe), but it is a normal day for us!!! Its more traditional in the south of the country, although I´d like to celebrate it!!!

  27. Vale_yaya Senior Member

    Minnesota, USA
    En Ecuador, nosotros le decimos el "Día de Reyes", sin embargo no lo celebramos. El 24 de Diciembre, "la noche buena" es la más festejada, mucho más que el 25 de Diciembre.
  28. e.ma Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    Principales fiestas de Navidad en España:

    1. Nochebuena: se suele celebrar con cenas familiares. Se supone que esa noche nació Jesús, luego para los cristianos es la fiesta más importante de la Navidad.
    2. Nochevieja: principal celebración pagana, que, no pudiendo erradicarla, la Iglesia asimiló como suya. Creo que lo que celebra es el equinoccio: la muerte del dios Sol y su resurrección. Se hace parranda en la calle en plan desmelenado.
    3. Reyes: la fiesta más importante para los niños. Se dejan aperitivos en casa para los reyes y sus camellos, que vienen de noche a traer regalos. Creo que era parte de la fiesta pagana, y la Iglesia la adaptó con eso de la "adoración de los Magos".

    Aparte de esto, se suele hacer comida en familia el día 25 y el día 1, para pasar con los allegados las resacas del 24 y el 31.

    ¡Felices Pascuas a todos! (que ya queda poco).
  29. belén

    belén Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain, Catalan, Mallorca
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 8, 2008
  30. Blixa Senior Member

    Spanish, MX

    Totalmente de acuerdo, aqui en el centro de México, siempre ha sido el Dia de Reyes un super dia!, dejas tu zapato con tu carta, envias un globo, dejas leche o agua (el 5 de enero) y al dia siguiente tienes juguetes!!! :D

    Pero entonces, en inglés esta bien The day of the King???
  31. spanishtoenglish Senior Member

    USA English
    In my area, for the holiday, we would say "Epiphany"--although it's not celebrated outside of a religious context. "Los Reyes Magos" in English would be "The Three Kings"

  32. jaimemauro New Member

    Hey guys, in mexico we have a day called "Santos Reyes" which we celebrate on January the 6th. If any of you know what do you call it in english would be very helpfull. Thanks.

    Best regards,

  33. Tacherie

    Tacherie Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
    Twelfth Night, as in Shakespeare's play.

  34. Daniel López Senior Member

    La noche del día 5 os niños reciben los regalos muy emocionados y empiezan a jugar. Montones de papeles y cajas, padres ayudando a montar juguetes y leer instrucciones de juegos.

    Al día siguiente comida familiar y los niños siguen con sus juguetes, los adultos se les unen y juegan con ellos.
  35. Red Blood

    Red Blood Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Español, Argentina
    En Argentina el día de Reyes consta de 2 etapas:

    Noche del 5 de Enero: se dejan los zapatos junto con la carta con el pedido de regalos (una pelota de fútbol y una camiseta de Independiente de Avellaneda siempre fue mi pedido especial de chico), agua y pasto para los camellos, y recuerdo que mi papá decía que le dejáramos cerveza para los Reyes (obvio que era para él :D)

    Mañana del 6: los chicos se levantan corriendo en busca de sus regalos.

    Saludos y Feliz día de Reyes para todos !!!

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