In Puer­to Rico, it is tra­di­tion­al for chil­dren to fill a box with fresh grass or hay and put it under­neath their bed, for the Wise Men’s camels. The three kings will then take the grass to feed the camels and will leave gifts under the bed as a reward. These tra­di­tions are anal­o­gous to the cus­toms of chil­dren leav­ing mince pies and sher­ry out for Father Christ­mas in West­ern Europe or leav­ing milk and cook­ies for San­ta Claus in the Unit­ed States.

El-rey-Gaspar3El Rey Gas­par was Emper­or of the Ori­ent and ruled over all ori­en­tal lands. He is also rep­re­sent­ed as white but does not wear a beard. His clothes were gild­ed in gold. Gaspar’s gift was frank­in­cense, an aro­mat­ic oil that sym­bol­ized prayer. Frank­in­cense was price­less and a gift for Kings. Gas­par is said to have also brought many oth­er fine gifts for the Christ Child. It is said that Gas­par trav­eled the fur­thest to vis­it the Christ Child. Saint Gaspar’s feast day is Jan­u­ary 6th.

 

El-Rey-MelchorEl Rey Mel­chor was a Nubian King and ruler of Ethiopia. Mel­chor was dressed in exquis­ite robes. His gift was myrrh, an aro­mat­ic resin that comes from the bark of thorny African trees and sym­bol­ized suf­fer­ing. Myrrh was a pre­cious com­mod­i­ty in the Mid­dle East. He is also rumored to have brought many oth­er expen­sive gifts and trea­sures along. Saint Melchor’s feast day is Jan­u­ary 7th.

 

baltazarEl Rey Bal­tazar was the Sul­tan of Ara­bia. He was the old­est of the Magi and was a small and gen­tle man. Bal­tazar had a long white beard and wore ele­gant crim­son robes. His gift was gold but he is rumored to have brought many oth­er price­less gifts as well. Leg­end tells us that Bal­tazar died soon after in the pres­ence of the oth­er Wise Men. His fig­ure tra­di­tion­al­ly goes before the oth­ers on a manger scene. Saint Baltazar’s feast day is Jan­u­ary 8th.