In this post, we are happy to present a delightfully simple and easy-to-make origami king a creation of Carlos Bocanegra (Argentina) Make three and you will have the legendary kings––wise men––that visited baby Jesus to offer gifts. Each King only takes a minute to make!
The Three Kings Day
At the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas, on January 6, is Epiphany, or Three Kings Day.
The New Testament recounts that sometime after the birth of Jesus, the Holy Family was visited by gift-bearing men called Magi. The Gospel accounts of Christ’s birth do not specify the number of Magi, nor their names, but at the beginning of the third century, writers interpreted the Magi as three kings who came from three continents––Africa, Asia, and Europe–– known at the time to those living in the Mediterranean world.
The Names of the Three Kings
- Caspar (or Gaspar) king of Sheba, brought Frankincense to the infant.
- Melchior, king of Arabia, gifted gold.
- Balthazar, king of Tarsus/Macedonia and Egypt, brought myrrh.
Three King’s Day Traditions
- Spain and Latin America: The Three King’s Day is called El Día de Los Reyes. In Spain, many children get their Christmas presents on this day.
- Puerto Rico: Before children go to sleep on January 5 they place a box with hay under their beds where the kings can leave their presents.
- Mexico celebrates by adding the three figures of the Three Kings to the creche or Nativity Scene on January 5th. On the morning of January 6th, Melchior, Gaspar, and Balthasar will have left gifts next to the children’s shoes.
- In Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay: Children place a clean shoe by a door, and grass and water for the camels.
- In France: A delicious “kings’ cake” known as la galette des rois is baked. In it is hidden a coin, jewel, or small toy.
The following step-by-step video shows how to make the three kings in origami. Thank you, Carlos Bocanegra, for giving permission to present your model.
Fold these Three Kings and share your work on our Origami Spirit Facebook group. We would love to see what you make!
Tips and suggestions for making the figure of the origami king
- The finished king figure shows both sides of the paper. It’s ideal to use paper of different colors on each side.
- Use thin and crisp paper. Paper known in the US as “Kami” is a good choice, but it can be made with heavier papers.
- When folding this model for the first time, use a piece of paper sized at least 6 × 6 inches (15x15cm.)
- If you have a paper of the same color on both sides, before folding, you can color the paper by hand as described in this post.
- Also, you can place together two squares of different colors and fold them as if they were one.
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