Many people celebrate January 6th as Dia de los Reyes, a date that is considered as the real Christmas celebration since it was on that very day that the three wise men: Balthasar of Arabia, Melchior of Persia, and Gaspar of India, went to Belen to offer gifts to baby Jesus.
It is tradition for people to give gifts to children on this date. Also on Dia de los Reyes, people gather to eat the typical epiphany bread, also known as la ‘rosca de reyes’ which, according to Chef Cervantes from La Monarca bakery, has deep significance. “The round shape of ‘la rosca’ represents the love for God as well as the crown of a King,” said Cervantes. “The dried fruits placed on top of it represent the desert path that Joseph and Mary took in order to protect baby Jesus from King Herod, who at the time was killing every child under the age of 2 who he thought posed a threat to replace him as king.”
The fruit around the epiphany bread represents the decoration on the King’s crown as well as the distractions from the world. The figurine hidden inside it represents baby Jesus, just as he was hidden by Joseph and Mary.
“People consider it bad luck if they get the baby Jesus figurine on their slice of ‘rosca’, but in reality it’s the other way around,” said the Mexican chef. “The person who finds baby Jesus turns into his godparent, and then on February 2nd, which is the ‘dia de la candelaria’ also known as Candle Mass Day in Mexico, the godparent will represent baby Jesus at church and there is a party to celebrate.” Chef Cervantes adds that finding the baby Jesus figurine is the greatest blessing one can have on Dia de los Reyes.