You can find some of the bluest skies in the east of Yucatán. They magically contrast with the green of its vegetation, which is thicker than in the rest of the state. Perhaps that’s why the air feels different and each breath is fresher than the one before. When you arrive to Tizimín, the city of the Three Wise Men, you’ll be ready to celebrate.
Though the fair held in honor of Melchior, Casper, and Balthazar takes place in January, here there is reason to celebrate all year long. To prove this theory, I walked around the Sanctuary of the Three Wise Men – the second largest in the world that reveres these patron saints after the one in Cologne, Germany – and I ended up proving faith and devotion have no schedule, calendar, or borders.
Carved in cedar wood, painted with vibrant colors, and decorated with gold leaf, the Three Wise Men who were guided by a star to worship baby Jesus are the main attraction at the Tizimín convent. This beautiful colonial building dates back to 1760. Visitors from around the state, country, and world come throughout the year to pray and thank the Wise Men. The parishioners will assure you they are miraculous.
You’ll find each image has been presented with a collection of colorful wool strings with small metal figures depicting babies, arms, cows, pregnant women, or heads. They are called Kexitos, and Gladys, who sells them by the entrance of the convent, tells us they are lucky charms or amulets. People buy the Kexitos and use them as offerings for the Wise Men in exchange for their prayers coming true.
Kexitos serve many purposes. Some ask for help with work, the health of a child, headaches, a pregnancy, good crops, livestock, and more. I asked Gladys if they sell, and she responded without hesitation: “Oh yes. They sell very well. Before, only locals would buy them, but now visitors are asking for them and understand what they’re for. Some also take them home as souvenirs.”
So now you know. The Three Wise Men are waiting for you to gift them with a Kexito so they can grant you a wish. If you want to take part in the Feria Tizimín 2020 – one of the largest of the Southeast – you have to visit from December 30 to January 19. There will be something for everyone. You can take a look at the activity schedule on Facebook: H. Ayuntamiento Tizimín 2018-2021.
Feria Tizimín 2020
From December 30 to January 19, the people of Tizimín prepare to receive over 200 thousand people at the Feria Tizimín 2020. There will be a bit of everything: celebrations honoring the patron saints, livestock exhibits, the Vaquería, lots of traditional dances, shows for kids and adults, and excellent Yucatecan cuisine (try the Carnero Asado, it’s a local specialty!)
On December 30, you can’t miss the arrival of the Three Wise Men, who make their procession through Tizimín’s downtown. From January 2 to the 19, the fair will have plenty of activities.
This year on January 6, the Day of the Three Wise Men, a unique Rosca de Reyes (a traditional pastry) will be presented. It will be the largest in the world – a whopping 3 kilometers long! – and aims to establish a Guinness World Record.
In Tizimín you’ll have no trouble finding where to stay and where to eat. You can search for more information on their Facebook page: H. Ayuntamiento Tizimín 2018-2021
Editorial by Cecilia García Olivieri
Photography by Cecilia García Olvieri and Ellen Rivero for its use in Yucatán Today
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