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Three Kings Day Parade In Harlem Marks Last Official Day Of Christmas Season

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Harlem hosted the annual Three Kings Day Parade on Friday.

Poet, playwright and performance artist Jesus Papoleto Melendez led the parade. Composer and singer Johnny Colon, of the Johnny Colon Orchestra, author Nicholasa Mohr, and writer, essayist Esmerelda Santiago joined Melendez as honorary kings.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

The streets of El Barrio were alive with the sound of music as thousands of children celebrated the last official day of the Christmas season.

“I think that it’s important for the children to remember the practice that their parents used to have when they were growing up,” one woman said.

“It’s awesome, it’s just truly amazing,” one boy told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

The parade route stretched from 106th St. and Madison Ave. to 115th St and Park Ave.

The day, also known as the Epiphany, celebrates the biblical journey of the three kings to Bethlehem who brought the baby Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.


  • pugphan

    The gospel says Jesus was born on the longest night of the year- that is Dec. 25th.
    I was looking forward to seeing the parade on TV, either channel 9 or 11 used to air it, but alas not this year. I missed it! I remember, as a child, collecting grass for the camels, so long long ago. At least Three Kings Day or El Dia de los Reyes, is not yet commercialized. I pray it stays that way! smokersodysseycom

  • Ellen

    Wish I was there looking at this parade. Love it, but I did read where as far as the Catholic Church standing on Jesus’s birthday, it was around April 6th. I think the Mormons are on the same page with that. April 6th, so now if one wants to we can in early spring start all over again with Christmas. I’m all for it. Love Christmas.

  • John Marin

    Using the Julian Calendar January 6th is considered the tradtiional date for Christmas. Tomorrow January 7th Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate Christmas thus making today in some ways Christmas eve. Because of their strong Mediterranean heritage Hispanics celebrate the Epiphany as the 12th day of Chriistmas as used in the Gregorian calendar which replaced the Julian in 1584. In the Hispanic world children are encouraged to place grass in boxes that are then put underneath their beds. In the morning of January 6th they wake up to find it strewn all over the floor with gifts from the Magi placed around their
    bed. Presumably the grass acts as fodder for their camels.

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