Three Kings of hearts > Wise men star in East Harlem fest

Posted On January 6, 2007

Filed under News Americas

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The magi lead their camels yesterday in the Three Kings Day parade in East Harlem. The day celebrates the kings’ visit and gifts to the infant Jesus.

Except for the gray, overcast sky, there was nothing sedate about the city’s 30th annual Three Kings Day parade yesterday. It was hard to resist the line of large, colorful floats and loud, upbeat Latin music that filled the streets of East Harlem.

The Catholic holiday is a major celebration in Latin American countries, because it commemorates the day the three wise men visited the infant Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

“There is no such thing as Santa Claus in Puerto Rico, so the kids there receive their gifts from the three kings,” said a spectator of the South Bronx, who came to the parade with her godmother and daughter.

The parade’s floats and music attracted visitors from other neighborhoods and cultures who wanted to join in on the fun.

“I started to learn Spanish, and I’m interested in the culture,” said another one, a teacher from Ridgewood, Queens, who visited the parade for the first time with her 4-year-old son. “I’ll definitely be coming next year.”