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Rosca de Reyes: A Fun Tradition in Rocky Point, Mexico

El Día de los Tres Reyes Magos or Dia de los Reyes Magos is celebrated on January 6th here in Rocky Point, Mexico as well as all over Mexico. “Day of the Three Kings” or “Day of the Three Wise Men” represents the three wise men coming with gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh for the baby Jesus.  Traditionally the day is celebrated with gifts, food and festivities and the children leave out their empty shoes, the night before, in hopes that they will be filled with treasures the next morning. The day is also celebrated with “roscas”, which are ring shaped cakes that can be stuffed with fruit and nuts or adorned with fruit and nuts to resemble the jeweled crowns or a number of other ways. The interesting thing about this cake is that, baked inside, is a tiny baby Jesus doll. If you eat the slice of the cake that contains the baby Jesus then you provide tamales and hot chocolate on February 2nd. Usually Dia de los Reyes Magos is celebrated with families and friends – or in my case – my co-workers. I am not sure why, but I’ve always thought of the idea of the little baby Jesus doll being baked into the cake kinda creepy, but my friends and co-workers loved the tradition. Perhaps they would find my families tradition of baking money into a birthday cake odd as well.

I have read that the baby Jesus being hidden in the cake symbolizes how Mary and Joseph had to hide baby Jesus from King Herod who ordered that all male infants recently born in Bethlehem be murdered as the rightful King of Jerusalem was soon to be born. The murderous search is symbolized by cutting the ring cake with a knife. Whatever you believe, it is a fun local tradition and everyone should experience the tradition of Dia de los Reyes Magos at least once in their life. So, if you are down in Rocky Point, Mexico on January 6th, stop by any bakery and pick up a rosca de reyes and invite friends over for a party. Or, if you wish to bake your own rosca de reyes, there are many recipes on the internet. And whomever finds the baby Jesus in their slice gets to host another party – great fun and yet another reason to celebrate in Rocky Point, Mexico. You can find an original recipe for baking your own Rosca de Reyes at http://www.experience-san-miguel-de-allende.com/rosca-de-reyes-recipe.html.

Incidentally, El Día de los Reyes is perhaps most famously celebrated here in Mexico, which boasts the worlds-largest rosca de reyes measuring 2,427 feet and weighing 20,670 lbs. It cost $82,955 USD, according to the government of Mexico’s Districto Federal. I wonder how many baby Jesus dolls that one contains. Yikes!

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