Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Three Wizard Kings

How about a bit of a culture lesson?

It has been said that Puerto Rico has the longest Holidays in the World. I don't know it that's true but they do last from Thanksgiving all the way to the second week of January. That's a lot of partying. Part of the reason is January 6, which (and I'm roughly translating here) is King's Day.

For those not familiar, according to the Bible, after Jesus was born he was visited by three Magi from the east who came bearing gifts: Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold. They were led by a star they were observing. There not many more details beyond that but tradition has made plenty of stories. How they came to be "kings", no one really knows but since Jesus is "The King of Kings" then  it made sense to someone to make them Kings as well. No one knows how many there were but since they came with three gifts, its easy to deduce no one came empty handed to the party. They also have been given names: Melchior, Balthazar and Caspar. Since they were Magi (a form of priest) and seemed to be astrologers (they were following a star) and the word Magi is the root word for magic, they have also been called magicians or wizards. Hence, here in Puerto Rico they are called "Los Tres Reyes Magos". Direct translation: The Three Wizard Kings.

On January 5, kids go out and gather grass they put in boxes (usually shoe boxes) and place under the tree. You see, the Wise Men travel by camel. I think since the Nativity story takes place in the Middle East, people just thought it logical they would travel by camel. Anyway, the next day (the 6th) the children get presents left by the Three Wise Men and the grass has been consumed by the Wise Men's camels.

If all this sounds eerily familiar to what happens on December 25th and Santa Claus, well we do that one too. Kids can have very lucrative Holidays here, especially if they have a lot of relatives. It's one of my favorite holidays.

And that folks, is the story of the Three Wizard Kings.

So why am I sharing this with you? On a running blog? Well, two reasons actually:

A) Even though I am a kid only at heart, my parents... er I mean, the Wise Men left me what Gimli the dwarf would call "a kingly gift". A Garmin Forerunner 410 with the heart rate monitor. (I will give you the details on a later post)

B) I CANNOT USE IT!!!! I a haven't been able to run since December 28 because of a pain in my left knee that simply will not go away. I have a doctor's appointment this Thursday. I will let you know how that goes as well. 

The thing is that its not getting better. Even without running, it hurts when I touch it. It's not really the knee, its like the very top of the shinbone. So that is the reason for the history lesson. Since I have nothing to report running-wise I thought I'd give you the history lesson instead.

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