Three Kings

Here are a few of the pictures I took at the Three Kings Parade last Wednesday and which I wrote about last time. The gentleman above was the one I was setting up before being swarmed by (news)photographers falling over each other (and me) to take a picture. He is rather colorful. After I escaped the swarm of photographers I started chatting with an older gentleman (graying hair and mustache) who was gathering together sets of stilts. The stilts caught my eye because they had shoes firmly attached to them. I found out he and his fellow actors were hired to play The Three Kings, the Sun and Moon in the Parade. I asked if I could photograph them as they setup. He smiled and said sure. I followed them across the street and generally just hung back and took photos as they got ready.

Mike (in blue pants) played the moon and his partner was the Sun (in yellow of course at right). At top the last of the Three Kings is ready and is testing out his stilt legs.

Here the Sun and Moon are ready to go while, one of the Kings (Balthasar, I believe) gets a laugh.

What do the Sun and Moon have to do with the Three Kings? I am glad you asked. The Three Kings are also known as the Three Wise Men or Magis. Magi is a Latinization of the plural of the Greek word magos, from the Old Persian word magus from the Avestan magauno. Avestan is the religious caste into which Zoroaster was born. The term refers to the priestly caste of Zoroastrianism. As part of their religion, these priests paid particular attention to the stars, and gained an international reputation for astrology which was at that time highly regarded as a science. Their religious practices and use of astrology caused  the term Magi to be applied to the occult in general and led to the English term magic.

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