Puerto Rico celebrates the feast of the Magi as a tradition fully rooted in its culture, a legacy that remains unchanged despite its membership in the United States for more than a century.
The official historian of Puerto Rico, Luis González Vales, told Efe today that the celebration of the Magi, a custom brought to the island by the Spanish, remains strong despite the change of sovereignty in 1898 with the arrival of the U.S.
“The tradition of the Three Kings has been maintained because it has a very strong roots among the people,” said González Vales, for whom on January 6 is in Puerto Rico “the highlight of Christmas.”
“The tradition is especially strong outside the metropolitan area,” said González Vales, after noting that in rural areas, with less contact with trends coming from the United States, the Magi have remained an unalterable reference throughout the years. .
González Vales highlighted that the influence of the United States -very strong in Puerto Rico in many facets of the life of the population- has not been able to unseat this tradition that this weekend will experience a new episode, as it happens year after year.
The tradition of the Magi is especially relevant in the municipality of Juana Díaz, whose tradition dates back to 1883, when the Spanish priest Valentín Echevarría arrived in the Puerto Rican town of the south of the island on January 6. 1884 organized the first parade.
After that, Juana Díaz has strongly promoted the tradition through the National Caravan of the Magi, which toured Puerto Rico for the first time in 1985.
“The case of Juana Díaz is especially particular, since three people personify the Magi and go around the island,” said González Vales, the main reference in the history of Puerto Rico.
The national caravan of Juana Díaz has arrived over the years to all corners of Puerto Rico, although in recent times it has even expanded its action to move to the US Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Cuba and the United States.
The cavalcades, known in Puerto Rico as caravans, stand out for the Three Wise Men mounted on horseback who will tour the streets of many of the towns of the Caribbean island tomorrow.
The importance of the feast of the Three Kings on the island is reflected in the government gave parties this year to public employees until the beginning of next week.
The first lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, announced that the feast of the Magi will be celebrated simultaneously in areas of the municipalities of San Juan, Cidra, Yabucoa, Moca, Lares, Yauco and the islands of Vieques and Culebra.
The places where the events will take place are at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, the Juanito Caballo Court in Cidra, the Yabucoa Child Park, the Dr. Juan Sánchez Acevedo Coliseum in Moca, the Public Square in Town in Lares, the Plaza Pública de Vieques, the María de los Ángeles Children’s Park in Culebra and the Yauco Urban Park in Yauco.
“Thankful and happy to be able to share with our children on this special day where tradition and culture predominate, not just gifts, it is the experience of bringing a moment of joy to the Puerto Rican family this Christmas,” said Rosselló. written.
The Magi are only part of a Puerto Rican Christmas that is considered one of the longest in the world.
Puerto Rican Christmas is considered to begin with Thanksgiving in November and ends with the Fiestas of San Sebastian Street in the capital that is celebrated on the third weekend of January. (EFEUSA) .-