One of the most important annual celebrations in Yucatán, and the state’s oldest, is the “Feria de Reyes” (three kings fair) in Tizimin, a city located in the east of the state and the heart of the cattle raising industry.
Did you know? Thanks to the writings of friar Andrés Avendaño y Loyola, we know that these regional celebrations go back to the Maya; because annually the townspeople used to pay homage to three deities: Yum Chaak (rain), Yum K’aax (agriculture) and Yum Ik (wind). Later, the Franciscan convent of the Three Wise Men was founded, and these deities were replaced by the Three Kings: Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthasar.
The festival has remained a way to promote the customs and roots of “tizimileños” (people from Tizimín) and includes activities such as pilgrimages, “vaquería,” “charanga” music and religious festivities.
The festive environment can be felt for weeks beforehand; in November the preliminary activities begin, such as the selection of the “Queen” through a contest that is organized to choose the local representative who will lead every activity during the traditional fair. Another activity is the “convite,” a walking and horse riding tour taken by all the “gremios” (guild) members along the main streets of Tizimín, announcing the upcoming festivities.
The fair begins on December 28 when the Three Wise Men images are taken from their church niches to the main altar. After that, the celebration continues with a “vaquería” and the Queen coronation on December 30 at the Municipal Palace and surrounding streets, which lasts an entire day…Can you imagine a total party, full of folk music and dance?
During these weeks, there is also a huge farming, cattle raising, industrial and handcraft exhibition that takes place, starting on January 2nd, 2019, with some “jarana” dance exhibitions, folk dances, horseback rides and a horse display, mechanical games, gastronomy, and a dog show at the fairgrounds. Among the attendees you will find neighbors from the surrounding towns, people from Mérida, and international visitors.
On January 5th a huge “vaquería” takes place, on January 6th the Kings procession takes place from the church to the fairgrounds, and on January 8th a thanksgiving mass is held. As you can see, there are many activities that you can attend. Most of them are free, and I can promise you lots of fun experiencing all the traditions of the Three Kings Fair in Tizimín!
Feria de los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Fair)
From December 28, 2018 to January 20, 2019
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