This year the celebration was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Minas Gerais
The Three Wise Men Festivities of Paracatu de Baixo (MG) began on December 26, 2016 and for 10 days passed along homes and businesses located in Monsenhor Horta, Boa Vista, Cana do Reino, Campinas, Pedras, Borba, Furquim, Paracatu and Águas Claras.
The festivities keep alive the tradition of commemorating the journey of the three wise men and their meeting with baby Jesus. The group was founded in the community in 1961 by resident José Patrocínio de Oliveira, known as Zezinho, in order to preserve the folklore event.
The closure of the event took place in Águas Claras, on January 6, celebrating the Epiphany. The group members played next to the crib, and all the devotees could participate in a fraternization event, where traditional foods like tropeiro beans and feijoada were served.
According Dewey, 86, who, for the past 48 years has been the leader of the Three Wise Men Festivities of Paracatu, this year’s event exceeded all expectations. “We are very happy and confident about upcoming celebrations. We are very excited about the help from Renova and all those of the community who receive us into their homes and make donations to the company”, he says.
The legacy of the Three Wise Man Festivity is eternalized in songs, like this one below, dedicated to baby Jesus, which, according to Dewey, is the most beautiful one:
“Hum Hum Hummingbirds kiss the flowers / Hum Hum Hummingbirds kiss the flowers / The flowers of this Nativity Scene / The flowers of this Nativity Scene / Hum Hum Hummingbirds kiss the flowers/ Hum Hum Hummingbirds kiss the flowers/ Our Lady Mary is with us / Our Lady Mary is with us / And she is that Saint / And she is that Saint / Jesus’ mother/ Jesus is that Saint/ The true Jesus Christ / For we worship / For we worship / The true Jesus Christ / Forgive our sins / we are all sinners”
The group received support from the Renova Foundation for logistics and purchase of musical instruments lost due to the rupture of the Fundão dam, owned by Samarco Mineração, in November 2015. The action is part of the Renova Immaterial Preservation Program.
INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE
On January 6, 2017, the State Council of Cultural Heritage (Conep) declared The Three Wise Men Festivities as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Minas Gerais. The traditional local festivities join three other assets already registered by the State Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage of Minas Gerais (Iepha-MG): In 2004, the artisan preparation method of cheese in the Serro region. Then in 2013, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary of Afro-Brazilian People of Chapada do Norte and finally, the Community of Arturos in 2014.