Under strong influence from the European continent, especially from the Spanish and Portuguese, from the 16th century onwards, Brazil witnessed the emergence of the Feast of Kings, initially used as one of the educational methodologies practiced by the colonizers in order to catechize the original peoples. The use of art, in particular, contributed to the dialogue between indigenous people and Europeans partially overcoming the barriers imposed by the opposition of languages. Even though this embryonic scenario is little explored, the fact is that the festival continues to multiply among Brazilian municipalities, and, between December 24th and January 6th, it celebrates the visit of the wise men to the baby Jesus. According to the Bible, after his birth, Jesus received a visit from three wise men: Gaspar, Melchior (or Belchior) and Balthazar.
During the visit, each king brought a gift — gold, which represented beauty; incense, for divinity and faith; and myrrh, for immortality. In the state of Sergipe, among the municipalities with intense activity focused on this moment of festivity and worship, are: Macambira, Salgado, Japaratuba, Pedrinhas, Ribeirópolis, Santa Rosa de Lima, São Domingos, Siriri, Itabaiana, Nossa Senhora da Glória, Santana of São Francisco, Propriá, Nossa Senhora do Socorro, Aracaju, São Cristóvão and Cedro de São João. Authored by state deputy Áurea Ribeiro (Republicans), with the perspective of preserving and valuing religious culture, the Festa de Santos Reis in the Municipality de Macambira was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest of the State and includes it in the Official Calendar of Events.
Regarding the unanimous approval of the Bill 309/23, the parliamentarian highlighted that: “this is another achievement of our mandate and I am happy to share it with all of you. The Santos Reis Festival is a traditional event that unites the community, preserves our cultural identity and strengthens local tourism. Now, with the status of Asset of Cultural Interest, we will have resources and support for its promotion and preservation, ensuring that this tradition is passed on to future generations.” During these events, parades, musical performances, folk dances and theatrical performances take place in all cities, bringing together residents and visitors around faith and devotion. Religious tourism during the Feast of Kings is responsible for the positive impact on the state economy.
Likewise, the city of Macambira, in 2019 – the result of a Bill authored by deputy Luciano Pimentel (PP) – also recognized the Festa de Santos Reis, in the municipality of Siriri, Cultural Heritage of the state of Sergipe. The deputy recalled in the project that the tradition of Reis, in the municipality of Siriri, that in addition to a lot of entertainment, the party brings income to many residents of the municipality and the region. Traders who have been going to the Santos Reis festival in Siriri for over 30 years to sell gourds, a typical item of the festival that delights revelers, as well as sellers at snack, drink and sweet stalls.
“In this way, the importance of constituting the Festa de Reis de Siriri as an intangible cultural heritage of the State is understood, as it is an important instrument in the maintenance of Sergipe culture, and thus included in the official calendar of events of the State of Sergipe”, he stated, on that occasion, deputy Luciano Pimentel.
Photo: Ascom | Ribeirópolis