The Belleville Public Library hosted an audience of more than 100 for Three Kings Day celebration on Monday afternoon.
The day featured magic and snacks, and was a joint project with the Township Council and Board of Education helping out the library, according to Richard Yanuzzi, a library board member.
Local magician Joe Fischer shows a Belleville Public Library audience of more than 100 children his sleight of hand, inviting several youngsters to help him perform his tricks.
As the show was about to start, six-year-olds Dominic Miranda and Sophia Polez of School No. 7 said they were excited to see the magic show and to learn about Three Kings Day.
Three Kings Day is celebrated on Jan. 6, twelve days after Christmas, is often viewed as the last day of the Christmas season, since the day is the end of the 12 days of Christmas, according to library officials.
Also known as The Epiphany, Three Kings Day, or Día de los Reyes in Spanish, is a Christian celebration that commemorates the Biblical story of the three kings who followed the star of Bethlehem to bring gifts to the Christ child.
According to the Biblical story, the Three Kings – named Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar, presented the Baby Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, library officials said.
Three Kings Day was the gift-giving time, rather than Christmas day, and just as it is common for children to leave cookies for Santa in the U.S., in some regions, it was customary for children to leave their shoes out on the night of Jan. 5. The shoes are often filled with hay for the camels, in hopes that the Three Kings would be generous, library officials said.
Children would awake on Jan. 6 to find their shoes filled with toys and gifts. library officials said.