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For Post-Holiday Celebrations in Mexico, Let Them Eat Cake

December 2014

The holiday festivities continue in Mexico well past December 25th with the celebration of El Día de Reyes, or the Epiphany, on January 6th. In honor of the day the magi arrived bearing gifts for the infant Jesus, Latin and Spanish cultures enjoy a customary Rosca de Reyes cake, a wreath-shaped sweet egg bread filled with a creamy center and decorated with crystallized fruits to symbolize a crown with all its jewels.

In Mexico, children fill their shoes with hay for the king’s camels in anticipation for gifts and enjoy cake with hot chocolate and atole – a warm traditional masa drink. The surprises continue when a baby figurine or a dried bean concealed inside the Rosca de Reyes is found, symbolizing the baby Jesus in hiding from King Herod. Tradition goes that whoever finds the figurine is crowned the “Godparent” of the blessed baby and is granted good luck all year, with one special responsibility – hosting the La Candelaria on February 2nd, the festival that observes the presentation of Jesus to the temple. This day concludes the holiday season in Mexico and is celebrated with a feast of tamales, which were once used as offerings made to ancient deities and are now eaten in merriment of the baby Jesus. 

This year we’ll be celebrating with our own Rosca de Reyes cake during the first week of January and a special tamale menu on February 2nd. Try your hand at the Rosca de Reyes with our recipe, or order one for the holiday from your local bakery. If you’re in the DC-area, stop by Oyamel for a slice or pick one up from Jaleo, who will be joining in the festivities with Spain’s own native traditions. Jaleo Bethesda will also be celebrating 3 Kings Days with a special celebration for families to come and meet the magi and enjoy a four-course brunch menu. 

Click here to see the Rosca de Reyes Recipe.  

Click here to preorder your 3 Kings Cake from Jaleo.