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Día de los Reyes event coming to Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Dia de los Reyes will be marked at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Saturday, Jan. 8.
(Courtesy of Misa Garcia)

El Dia de los Tres Reyes Magos, or Day of the Three Kings, is a holiday celebrated in Latin America and Spain on Jan. 6 to honor the Three Wise Men, Melchor, Gaspar and Balthasar, who bring gifts to Jesus in Bethlehem in the New Testament. The holiday closes Christmas festivities in many countries, and to celebrate, Segerstrom Center for the Arts is hosting a free family event on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza on Jan. 8.

The outdoor cultural event will include live music, craft activities and storytelling for kids and a chance to meet Los Reyes Magos. In Mexico, the holiday is often the day gifts are exchanged, and children believe the Three Kings are responsible for delivering the gifts, rather than Santa Claus. Their shoes are left outside with the hopes presents will be left inside them, and some children leave sweets for the kings and fruit or hay for their camels to lure them to their home.

Dia de los Reyes will be marked at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Jan. 8.
(Courtesy of Francis Bertrand)

Rosca de Reyes, or Kings’ Cake, is another popular tradition associated with the holiday and is often seen this time of year even outside of Latin countries. “Rosca” means “wreath” and “Reyes” means “kings,” and this ring-shaped cake is usually studded with dried and candied fruit, designed to resemble a king’s crown. A small toy doll is baked into the cake to represent the baby Jesus. Those who are served the slice with the doll inside must host a party on Dia de la Candelaria in February. The Center for the Arts will serve Rosca de Reyes and offer more opportunities to learn about the traditions and customs associated with the holiday.

This event is hosted from 1 to 4 p.m. and begins with a performance by Santa Ana High School’s Mariachi Los Santos at 1:15 p.m., followed by a meet-and-greet with Los Reyes Magos at 1:45 p.m. The festivities will continue with a show featuring Naranjita Flamenco, a Flamenco dance studio based in Orange County, at 2:15 p.m. and close with a performance by El Santo Golpe, a musical project that merges Cumbia, drums, culture and dance at 3 p.m.

The Dia de los Reyes event is free, but all patrons must have tickets, available at SCFTA.org on a first come, first serve basis.

Attendees are encouraged to bring folding chairs, as no seating will be provided. Refreshments and snacks will be available to purchase and guests are welcome to bring their own refreshments (no outside alcohol, glass containers, tables, barbecues or food preparation will be allowed.)

In light of the pandemic, face masks will be strongly encouraged.

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