What is a Rosca de Reyes and why Does it Look Like a Giant Donut?
It is the weekend of January 6th which can only mean one thing, well besides being national take down your Christmas tree day, means its Kings Day, or Epiphany. What does that mean for you though actually? Well in most hispanic, Mexican, and Spanish households it means that it is the day that we celebrate the three wise men, magi, kings, tres reyes magos or whatever your religion says they were, and their journey to find the baby Jesus.
If you are still with me you may be thinking ok what does this have to do with me. Well as parents told me about growing up in 1950's Mexico it was almost like a second Christmas and children would receive gifts from the three magi. These gifts weren't luxurious by any means but would sometimes be fruit, raisins, candies and maybe a wooden toy or doll.
During this time there is a beautiful ring of bread, called the rosca de reyes, that is meant to represent a crown and has colorful strips to represent the gifts that were presented to baby Jesus. There is usually a party held on January 6 where family and friends will cut into the cake and search for the prize that no one wants to get. That prize is a plastic figure of a baby that represents Jesus and whoever finds it has to make tamales for February 2.
So next time you go to a store between Christmas and January 6th make sure to keep an eye out for a big box that says Rosca de Reyes and I suggest buying it. You are more than welcome to try it and indulge a bit just remember that there is a hidden prize so watch out for Jesus.