Many cultures observe January 6 as end of Christmas season

In many cultures, today places an end bracket on the Christmas season. Some Latinos in the Southland plan to observe it as Three Kings Day.

Or, "el dia de los reyes magos" – the day on which three kings or wise men visited the Christ Child bearing gifts. In keeping with this Bible story, children in Mexico and other Central American and Caribbean countries traditionally left their shoes out overnight, along with water and grass for the wise men’s camels. On this morning they’d wake up and find those shoes filled with presents.

The liturgical term for this date is Epiphany. This twelfth day after Christmas symbolizes the recognition of people beyond Bethlehem that the baby Jesus was something special.

The Fiesta Marketplace in Santa Ana and Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles are hosting Los Reyes celebrations today. For many people, this day also marks the start of carnival season – a festive period that culminates on March 8 with Mardi Gras, the final day before the austere Christian season of Lent.

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