On Sunday, January 6, our post held its annual Three Kings Day celebration. In Spain, Mexico and Latin America, January 6 is known as "El Dia de Los Reyes" for Christians. This holiday represents the day the three wise men, who followed the north star, located and presented gifts to the new born baby Jesus Christ.
Latin American Post 840 located in Philadelphia is the only Latin post in the Department of Pennsylvania.. It received its charter in 1953. Our post holds its annual Three Kings Day celebration on the Sunday before the holiday. This year's event fell on the day of the holiday. We usually rent a local Philadelphia venue with catered Latin food for dozens of children and their parents and guardians. The families come from the local community, churches and family shelters. Grandchildren of Legion and Auxiliary members are also included.
In 2018 several families, relocated to the Philadelphia area from Puerto Rico because of the devastation of Hurricane Maria, participated in the celebration. The post has also raised and donated $2,500 for the Salvation Army for Puerto Rican hurricane relief.
An Auxiliary member reader gathered the children to explain the reason for the holiday. Regardless of their religious background or lack of, all children were warmly welcomed without question. After the reading, Legion members dressed as the three wise men made their grand entrances to present gifts (toys) to all children 0-12 years old. The toys are generously donated by the post and auxiliary. A city council $500 annual grant helps to offset expense. This year, for the first time, the post was awarded 115 toys from the Marines Toys for Tots.