When everyone in European cultures were getting together for the day of the Theofania, St. John the baptist day on January 6th 2015. The Hispanic community got together in a beautiful celebration for the Three Kings. Every year at El Museo Del Barrio there is an annual parade that honors the tradition of the three wise men. The three wise men are known as the bible as the three kings that traveled to Bethlehem on the day our lord and savior Jesus Christ was born and brought him the three gifts of god, frankincense, myrrh for the new bork King the son of god. The parade was also a celebration for the life of the founder of the Three Kings Parade and former director of El Museo Del Barrio Jack Agüeros who passed away this past May.
El Museo del Barrio was bursting with people from adults, to children and volunteers of many different ages getting everything prepared for the snowy celebrations that were going to take place. The snow did not stop throughout that day but the curators of the parade were even more determined to have the parade taking place for the children, so they may keep their roots and learn more about their cultural heritage. What was special about this years parade, the featured highlight of the festivities was the premiere of the animated version of the loved story Book of Life that teaches everyone the value of life and death. With La Muerte as the main character on the parade convertable greeting everyone as they watch the parade. With the opening of the parade and the release of book of life there was press coverage from Univision 96×3 as well as Total Accesivo.
Before the festivities began there was a breakfast and a small honoree ceremony for those that were involved in the parade such as King Emeretus who was played by one of the founders of the Nuyorican movement himself Jesus Papoleto Melendez. Melendez is known as one of the founders of the Nuyorican movement through his poetry, and his playwright. Melendez is also an activist of the Nuyorican movement; his intellectual topics and debates and his activism remains today as one of the most noted in history. Others that were honored were were Tom Finkelpearl (Commissioner, NYC Dept of Cultural Affairs ) , Deborah Quinones (El barrio community leader and founder) , and Juan Gonzalez (NY Daily News Columnist) for whom played the three kings. The breakfast was also a solemn time because there was honors for those that we have recently lost this year such as designer Oscar De La Renta, and more recently former Governor Mario Cuomo.
The parade festivities were led by La Muerte, the Queen of souls in the beloved tale Book of Life which was turned into a children’s tale, so that children can have a better understanding of the true meaning of life and death. La Muerte was played by Angelica Alicia Adams, daughter of Capicu King George ‘Urban Jibaro’ Torres. (makeup done by Mia Roman, artsbymia.com). “To say the least, playing La Muerte in the Three Kings Day parade was one of the most fun things I’ve gotten to do. She is such a strong and beautiful character, it would be hard not to naturally embody her fierceness- especially in such a fun parade painted with Boricua spirit.” said Adams. The Parade festivities ranged from 106 Street and Lexington Avenue to 115 and Park Avenue.
It was an honor to be there as a photographer but to be there to witness the lives of different people of different cultures watch them celebrate and rejoice in the happiest of moments and to celebrate those who have passed in a way as if their spirit was still alive is very touching to the soul. I recommend those who have not been in touch with their cultural heritage or just wants to learn more about other cultures to please go search for it and you never know what you can find. But also if you want to learn more about the Nuyorican movement and puertorican culture go visit El Museo Del Barrio. http://www.elmuseo.org