U.S. retailers embrace Three Kings Day

Jan. 2, 2008 at 7:50 PM
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BENTONVILLE, Ark., Jan. 2 (UPI) -- A growing number of U.S. retailers are promoting the Hispanic tradition of celebrating Three Kings Day every Jan. 6 to extend the holiday buying season.

Known as "El Dia de los Reyes," the holiday celebrates the day in Christian tradition when the three wise men visited the baby Jesus. The day is as important as Christmas in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain and many other Latin American countries.

Children put their shoes out the night before or leave grass for the wise men's camels. They wake the next day to unwrap presents.

This year, the three kings are visiting Wal-Marts in the Southwest, and more than 300 Wal-Marts have displays and products geared to the celebration, USA Today reported Tuesday.

Kmart is sponsoring the Three Kings parade in Miami Jan. 13 and an appearance by Jose Feliciano Thursday at its Bronx, New York, store.

"It makes all the business sense in the world if you can extend the selling season," said Alex Lopez Negrete, chief executive officer of Lopez Negrete Communications, the nation's second-largest Hispanic marketing company.

"It tells your customers that you know their traditions," Lopez Negrete said. "It makes you relevant to them."

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