Today is Epiphany.
I looked around and noticed packages of green tinsel (still attached at the top to their red cardboard holders) dancing from the rafters as the breeze came through the open air dining space. Small plastic Christmas wreaths were nailed to the posts and red felt bows were taped to the walls. For those who follow the Gregorian calendar, Epiphany is the Twelfth Day of Christmas.
"In some communities, you can see men dressed up as the kings and walking around," Sonia shared after I asked about Epiphany traditions in El Salvador.
"Really?" said the pastor. It seemed like he considered this tradition to be outdated.
"Yes," Sonia continued. "At the children's hospital on this day the kings visit and give gifts to all the children. We will celebrate the Day of the Kings this Sunday with all of the children at church." Sonia's face lit up with anticipation. Sonia can hardly keep a secret.
As the sun went down this evening, the Christmas lights in our neighborhood came to life. There have been lights glowing throughout the city during this time after Christmas. The Christmas tree at Salvador del Mundo plaza and the street lights in Escalon almost make it seem like daytime below the night sky. Yet tonight, it seems like every display is lit. The fireworks are popping and sizzling for one last time. Tonight El Salvador celebrates the light which can overcome the darkness and the hope that peace will conquer violence as the new year unfolds.