Dia de los Reyes is a very important holiday to the Puerto Rican people. It is celebrated on January 6th and it is considered to be the Epiphany where three kings also are known as the Magi come bearing gifts for when Jesus is born. Puerto Rican children cut grass to put in a shoebox under their bed for the camels to eat. Their “wish list” is placed on top of the grass and in the morning gifts arrive. This is the tradition has spanned for generations.
Since 1995, the Three Kings WinterFest is celebrated on January 6, the Epiphany and has become a tradition embraced by the entire community. Children carol Puerto Rican aguinaldos from business to business and the Three Magi, volunteers from the Latin American Motorcycle Association (LAMA), lead a procession down Division St. along Paseo Boricua, joined by thousands, in a carnival-like atmosphere with children singing aguinaldos accompanied by Bomba & Plena music.
The parade is followed by a cultural program at the Humboldt Park Fieldhouse where more than 5,000 gifts are distributed annually to the children of the community. Thus, business and community organizations, old and young, people from all walks of life come together to pass on this ancient tradition of our puertorriqueñidad to the next generation. This event is co-sponsored by a host of community organizations.
A recent highlight of the celebration of the Navidades on Paseo Boricua has been the street lighting ceremony sponsored by Alderman Roberto Maldonado when dozens of images, designed by a Puerto Rican artisan, hanging from the light posts, are lighted.