LatinaLista — Though most of the major retailers aren’t releasing their holiday sales figures until January, there is one retailer who is rumored to be leading the pack — Wal Mart.
Hardly surprising news since the Goliath chain is known for their deep discounts but when it comes to reaching the Latino market, Wal Mart also excels in this arena and it has less to do with discounts than cultural sensitivity.
Case in point: Three Kings Day. In the Latino community, the celebration of Los Tres Reyes on January 6 is as big as Christmas Day itself. The Three Kings, or The Epiphany, refer to the three wise men who followed the star to the manger to find the Christ Child.
Traditional sweet bread, known as a rosca, baked with the figurine of the Baby Jesus inside and meant to be eaten on the day of the Three Kings or Epiphany Day.
As part of the celebration in Hispanic households, children write letters to the Three Kings or to their favorite king and, like they do for Santa, list gifts they would like to receive. Another part of the tradition is the special bread known as Rosca de Reyes.
The rosca is a sweet bread baked in the form of a wreath or ring. It’s often topped with nuts, figs, cherries or other candied fruit. A small plastic doll or baby Jesus usually is baked inside. The doll is hidden to symbolize a secure place where Jesus could be born or hide from King Herod’s troops.
From Spain to Mexico, family and friends gather to cut the rosca for breakfast or for a snack on Three Kings Day.
Recognizing that Los Tres Reyes is an important event in Latino households during this season, Wal-Mart resurrected a special national campaign to honor this observance. In over 400 stores across the country, the Three Kings visit select Wal-Marts where children get their pictures taken with the Kings while families buy the rosca in those same stores’ bakeries.
Yet, the outreach doesn’t stop there. Something new this year is that Wal-Mart has created a Three Kings bilingual site to share with Latino families traditional recipes, instructions for children’s activities, print-out templates for children to write to the Three Kings and a special section to locate which stores near buyers will be hosting Three Kings activities.
One of the reasons Latina Lista is so excited about this campaign is because of the website and the fact that it is bilingual. Too many companies still tend to think that sites addressing U.S. Hispanics must be monolingual Spanish.
As more and more Latino families, of later generations, become English dominant, a bilingual website recognizes that all Latinos are proud of their roots and like nothing better than to keep family traditions alive whether it be in English or Spanish.
As all Latinos know, we all don’t speak Spanish!