Dia de Reyes, a Celebration Bigger Than Christmas for Many Latin Americans
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January 5, 2014

Thousands of Mexicans gathered on Friday to eat a piece from one of the country's tastiest traditions, a mammoth King Cake provided by Mexico City's government. (ITN News)

From East Harlem in New York to Disneyland in Southern California, many Latinos on Monday will celebrate a Christmas holiday that some believe is even bigger than December 25, the  Día de los Reyes.

Three Kings Day or Día de Reyes is January 6. This day is formally the Feast of the Epiphany on the church calendar, the 12th day after Christmas, when the Gospel of Matthew says the Magi arrived bearing gifts for the divine child, Jesus.

Día de Reyes is a traditional day of celebration in Mexico and many Latin countries, as it is in many parts of the U.S., with its 50 million-plus Hispanic population.

In Mexico and other places, children receive gifts on this day, brought by the three wise men – this in addition to presents from Santa Claus.

Many Latino communities in the southwestern states mark Dia de los Reyes with festive processions.

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