Yesterday was the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as the Day of the Three Kings.
Here in Spain, it is called El Día de los Reyes and is celebrated in a special way. Just like every year, there was a colorful parade in the town center which allowed the children to see the “arrival” of the Reyes Magos: Melchor who represents Arabia, Gaspar who represents the Orient, and Balthazar who represents Africa.
The Bible says that the three kings also gifted the baby Jesus with gold, frankincense and myrrh. Thus, it has a become a tradition for Spanish children (and many adults!) to receive gifts on this day as well.
Below is a picture of the Shrine of the Three Kings at the Cathedral in Cologne, Germany. The triple sarcophagus in gold and silver holds the bones of the Magi. It is located above and behind the Cathedral’s high altar (which is why it was difficult to take a front-view shot).
The relics were originally kept in Constantinople but were moved to Milan in 344. Eight centuries later, in 1164, they were entrusted to the Archbishop of Cologne.
The shrine was built sometime in 1180 or 1181 and was completed circa 1225.
The remains of the Three Kings were deemed so important that the Cathedral was constructed in 1248 to house them. The shrine was opened in 1864, less than two decades before the Cathedral was finished in 1880. (Yes, the Cathedral took 632 years to build!)
Since I didn’t receive any gift yesterday, I’m thinking of buying one for myself today. A new font for my latest designs, perhaps?
In other news: The sale season has started. Oh boy.