The Christmas season officially ends for Christians today with the celebration of the visit the Magi made to the infant Jesus bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

In that honor, St. Nicholas in Egg Harbor City will celebrate “Three Kings Day” by giving gifts to children of the parish.

“We expect about 200 kids,” said Kathy Garcia, coordinator for the CCD program. “It’s mainly children of the parish. A lot of the farm workers who aren’t working right now.”

Also known as the Feast of the Epiphany, the day marks the end of the holiday 12 days after the birth of Jesus Christ when the Three Wise Men — Melchior, Balthazar and Caspar — arrived at the birthplace in Bethlehem.

The gifts in the church’s case were supplied by the Salvation Army, Garcia said.

Toys were also given out Saturday in the area as part of the Toys for Tots program, said former Egg Harbor City Councilman Dennis Munoz, of the city’s Latino Club.

“(Three Kings Day) is like Christmas for Hispanics,” he explained. “They brought gifts to the baby Christ. In celebration of that day, we handed out toys (Saturday) morning.

Today’s celebration will begin around 10:45 a.m., after the 9:45 a.m. church services end. People will gather across the street on St. Louis Avenue where Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, three shepherds keeping watch and the three kings will be represented.

There will be dancers, a choir and Hispanic food as well, Garcia said.

The even has been going on annually for the last 15 years.

Contact Lynda Cohen:

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