Three Kings in the City of Kings, Lima, Peru

I'm in Lima, Peru now. They call this the City of Kings.

That is appropriate because today is Three Kings Day or el Día de los Reyes Magos.

Jan. 6 marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas when the wise men, Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, followed a bright star to visit the Baby Jesus who they presented with gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Now this Bible story of the birth of Christ has been depicted by artists and artisans in Latin America in what we call in Spanish nacimientos or nativity scenes. They also are known as créches.

Here in Lima we went to see an exhibit that was a national contest of nacimientos made of ceramic called the 2009 National Nativity Contest of Peru. The detail of the figurines was impressive and the figures represented the various regions of Peru from the Andes to the Amazon.

Later we walked through a local artisan market callled the Mercado Indio. I saw many other nacimientos including some made of Papier-mâché, silver and wood.

They are some so small you could hold them in your hand and others that are life-size figurines.

Take a look at my slideshow to see how this holiday is represented in a centuries-old tradition.

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