Hello! It’s Haley, and I’m back with something a bit different from what I usually post! Today I’m going to explain one of the holidays that they celebrate here. It may be my personal favorite so far.
El dia de reyes – “Day of the three magi” or, more simply, “Three king’s day”
Three king’s day, celebrated on January 6th, represents the height of the Christmas season. The day commemorates the three wise men that travelled from afar bearing gifts for baby Jesus. The children in Mexico look forward to this holiday more than Christmas because this holiday is the day the kids get presents, not on Christmas. Instead of stockings, kids leave out their shoes. Instead of Santa, the three wise men come and leave presents in the childrens’ shoes outside their bedroom doors.
But what good’s a holiday without some traditional food to go with it? Rosca de Reyes is a sweet bread shaped into an oval, symbolizing the king’s crown. But there’s a surprise in certain parts of the bread. Hidden inside, plastic babies wait to be found! If you’re lucky enough to find a small plastic baby Jesus in your slice of bread, then that means that you’re going to help make the tomales for the party on February 2nd! It may sound like a chore, but it’s considered an honor by the people who get it.
The first time I heard about this holiday, I knew I wanted to try it. I mean, sweet bread and treasure hunting? Sign me up!
The rosca de reyes smelled great when it came through the door, so I was excited to try it. After dinner, we brought it onto the table and served ourselves up. Inside of the bread was some kind of purple go-gurt tasting gel. It tasted good, but I didn’t love it. The sweet bread itself was amazing. While I was trying to scrape off some of the purple-y gel/frosting stuff, I found a baby! It was really small and hard to see, but I saw it’s little feet sticking out of the purple mess. After mom and Zoe found a baby each, Zoe went hunting through the rest of the bread for more babies. We ended up finding 6 in all. Officially my favorite foreign holiday ever!