The Rosca de Reyes, is a well-known and indeed unmissable family tradition that occurs after the Christmas celebrations have ended, on January 6. It is part of a tradition which commemorates the moment in which the 3 Kings or Magi encountered the baby Jesus: also known as Epiphany.
The sweet bread forms a circle or wreath-like shape, which some say represents an infinite circle of love for God, since there is no beginning or end, but others believe the wreath to represent the crown of Herod. The dates and dried fruits that decorate the bread, make reference to the crowns worn by the 3 Kings. The most symbolic elements are the little figurines hidden inside the bread, this represents when Joseph and Mary had to flee from Egypt when Herod learned of the birth of the messiah and ordered his men to assassinate all the male newborns in order to stop the Child God from taking over his reign.
Family reunions with loved ones to share the Rosca de Reyes began in the 16th century, in France! Although, in the original tradition, each slice had a meaning assigned. The first piece was for the poorest person or for anyone who arrived unexpectedly, the next was for those sent to war or were absent and the following slices were then distributed among the people who had attended the meeting.
In Mexico, the tradition came from Spain in the sixteenth century. The wreath is split without any particular order. However, those people who take out the baby Jesus in their slice, become the child's “godparents”. Generally they must dress it up beautifully and take him to be blessed in church on the 2nd February, Candlemas. Then the celebration carries on with tamales and atole shared between family and friends at home for the Day of the Candelaria. Come and join us at Tours Peregrinos Mexico to learn, experience and discover the traditions that unite families to share in the devotion and love of God.
At Tours Peregrinos Mexico we want you to be part of the religious traditions and experience how they are celebrated in Mexico.