By Bharati Kemraj
Singing, dancing and whole lot of toy giving took place as hundreds of children gather together at Public School #5 in the Port Morris Section of the Bronx for the celebration of “Three Kings Day” sponsored by State Senator Rev. Rubén Diaz. Presents for boys and girls were hundreds in numbers and everyone got the opportunity to get a present.
For many Christians and those in the Hispanic community, the holiday season and the gift of giving and receiving presents does not officially end until the 12th day of Christmas known as the “Three Kings Day” when, according to the Gospel of Matthew, the men found the divine child by following the Star across the desert for twelve days to Bethlehem. Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar --representing Europe, Arabia, and Africa respectively -- traveled to present baby Jesus with three symbolic gifts.
Elected officials including Bronx Borough President Rubén Diaz Jr., Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, The New York Hispanic Clergy Organization and community members stood on stage and gave out presents as students took turns meeting the Wise Men and collected bags, books and toys.
“Grab a backpack and get a toy,” says Assemblyman Crespo as he clapped his hands to the beat of the music and directed the children to the right place. “This is just for you,” says Borough President Diaz Jr. as he hands a little child a doll. In between the gift giving, music filled the air as Assemblyman Sepulveda twirls two basketballs for the children to enjoy and in the distance staff and family members all moved to the beats of the songs. Each child hugged or held on to their special presents as they walked away.
“This is all for the community and for the children. I do it every year because it makes them happy as we celebrate Three Kings Day,” says Senator Diaz as he speaks to the families and children.