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  • Writer's pictureMohammed Fuad

PRCA celebrates Three Kings Day

Mohammed Fuad/THG Ana D. Morales, Yvonne Rodriguez and Elliott Nunez dressed up as the three kings and handed out gifts to children during the Three Kings Day event.

HAMMONTON—The Puerto Rican Civic Association (PRCA) held their Three Kings’ Day event at their clubhouse at 367 Old Forks Rd. on Jan. 7. Three Kings Day, or Dio de Los Reyes in Spanish, is a Christian holiday celebrated as the day the three wise men first saw baby Jesus and brought him gifts. The holiday is celebrated in Central and Latin America, the Caribbean and some European countries.

According to PRCA President Edwin Negroni, the event is for the children. Every year on Jan. 6, especially in Puerto Rico, it is a tradition to give gifts to children to simulate the gifts given to children in the past. Children were treated to pizza slices, a snack and juice bar. They were also given a toy of their choosing.

Toys were placed in tables and the tables were pre-assigned with age and gender groups. The toys were more educational-based as the PRCA try to keep the children with educational continuance. The idea is to bring acceptance to whatever detail the toy has.

“It’s not really the price of a toy because our children in the community pretty much already have a toy by today,” Negroni said. “But as a tradition, we follow up with this. And we do pick up some kids once in a while that have not received anything and this was a great opportunity for them to receive some.”

While Three Kings Day is a holiday in some parts worldwide, the United States does not practice it as a federal or state holiday unless a community or state regulates it on a specific date to celebrate it. According to Negroni, Puerto Rico is the only place worldwide that has the longest Christmas celebration. Unofficially, it starts on Thanksgiving week and ends between Jan. 12-15.

The PRCA members work together to bring in donations and the gifts are donated from different kinds of secular groups, Negroni said.

“Members themselves, either they bring in cash so they can buy toys, or they’ll bring in cash to buy food so we can also provide food for this day,” Negroni said.

PRCA members Ana D. Morales, Yvonne Rodriguez and Elliott Nunez dressed up as the three wise kings for the event. They interact with the children and ask them what toy they would want and the families take pictures with the three kings.

“The thing is to unite the family, to let them understand the meaning of the Christmas family and of course the three wise men, which is known as the epiphany,” Negroni said. “The kids learn the humbleness that was behind this God of Jesus Christ.”

Carmen Rodriguez of Beauty Bar in Hammonton donates toys for the holiday event. Rodriguez’s clients would donate gifts and she’d donate them to the PRCA. Rodriguez would advertise it through social media.

“I really appreciate that my clients would do this because we have parents that can’t afford gifts for their kids. That way, every kid can get a toy when they show up,” Rodriguez said.


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