The Three Kings go from house to house in Puerto Rico, dressed in elaborate costumes. They mostly hand out fruit.
Christmas is celebrated in Puerto Rico. However, much more attention is paid to Three Kings Day by a majority of the population
Three Kings Day is sometimes viewed as the last day of the Christmas season. It would be the conclusion to the 12 days of Christmas.
Another important aspect of Three Kings Day is celebrated by having the children place grass or grain and a dish or water under their beds to feed the camels of the Three Kings. The Kings then leave gifts for the children to thank them for the food they left for their camels. Children who misbehave are told that the Kings will leave them a piece of charcoal instead of a gift.
Today, Three Kings Day is celebrated in a variety of ways in Puerto Rico. On Three Kings Eve, groups of musicians go through the streets of the town singing aguinaldos or there are processions through town with people dressed as the Kings, Mary, or Joseph.
The precious gifts brought by the three kings from the East to the Jesus child had meaning. They were Gold, symbol for worldly wisdom, Frankincense, devotional offering to the Gods and Myrrh, symbol for the victory of life over death.
The Julian calendar is observed by practitioners of the eastern oriental orthodox branch of Christianity, which predates the Gregorian calendar by more than 300 years. This period in the history of Christianity is referred to in scholarship, as the great “west vs. east” schism. Therefore, the traditional Christmas and Three Kings Day essentially have a singular and shared origin.
Referred to by generations leading up to WWI, as “old Christmas,” Three Kings Day also celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, but this popular commemoration occurs on January 6, about two weeks following the traditional December 25, event. The Three Kings Day, version of Christmas is also popular in the western world; however, it is primarily observed in Caribbean countries, and in Latin, Central and South America.
Three Kings Day commemorates the day when the Three Wise Men went and followed the star to Bethlehem and found Jesus on the manger. On this day, Los Tres Reyes gave three specific gifts to Baby Jesus: gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Hispanics celebrate Three Kings Day after New Year's, specifically on January 6. This Hispanic holiday is also called the Epiphany.