The Day of the Kings
In Argentina, the day is called Día de los Reyes or The Day of Kings, commemorating the arrival of the wise men. Children leave their shoes by the door, along with grass and water for the wise men’s camels. In the morning, they get a present and eat a "Rosca de Reyes," a ring-shaped Epiphany cake while helping put away the family’s Christmas decorations. In the Netherlands, children in groups of three (symbolizing the wise men) proceed in costume from house to house, carrying a paper lantern and singing songs. They receive a coin or, in some areas, a Koningentaart puff pastry with a bean or coin hidden inside. Whoever finds the bean is king or queen for the day. In the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the feast is known as Timkat. In Bulgaria and many other eastern European cultures, priests throw a golden cross into a nearby river or lake. Young men then jump into the icy waters to "save" the cross. The person who gets the cross first swims back and returns it to the priest, who then delivers a special blessing to the swimmer and his household. Water blessed on that day is known as "Theophany Water" and is taken home by the faithful, used with prayer as a blessing.