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.

Día de los Reyes photo by Denim and Gray

Día de los Reyes photo by Denim and Gray Día de los Reyes photo by Denim and Gray Día de los Reyes photo by Denim and Gray

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).

Three Kings Shrine photo 2 by Denim and Gray at WordPress

In the background: the shrine at the Cologne Cathedral which contains the remains of the Three Kings. According to records, the bones could be “assembled into nearly complete bodies: the one in his early youth, the second in his early manhood, the third was rather aged.”

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.

Three Kings Shrine photo by Denim and Gray at WordPress

The exterior of the 12th century reliquary is covered with intricate representations of prophets and apostles. Work on the shrine was finished in a span of 45 years.

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!)

Cologne Cathedral photo by Denim and Gray at WordPress

The Cologne Cathedral is officially known as the High Cathedral of St. Peter. It is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe.

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.