January 4, 2013
While many people are winding down from the holiday season, some are just getting started!
So technically, you’ve got a few more days of revelry before you have to wrap up all the decorations and put away the eggnog.
Below, Silvia of Mama Latina Tips, the award winning bilingual blog, chats with us about her favorite Hispanic holiday, Día de Reyes (Three Kings Day).
I can almost hear them already, my boys, I mean—the squeak of the sliding wooden door, the pounding of little feet as they run barefoot across the floor. They’ll be too excited to slide on their slippers. Instead, upon waking, they’ll rush to the front room to see if the Three Kings really came. “Mama, Papa, look!” they’ll scream.
In Mexico, in other Latin American countries, and in our home, children receive their Christmas gifts on January 6, Día de Reyes. It’s the day Western Christian tradition celebrates the arrival in Bethlehem of Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar, the three kings who followed the Christmas star to deliver gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to Baby Jesus.
Each year, Mexican children like mine write the Three Kings to ask for gifts, trinkets and toys. This year my boys asked for the Imaginext Bat Cave and a Toy Story Claw Carrying Case.
On the night of Jan. 5, children put one shoe under the Christmas tree before going to bed. In the morning they rise to find a gift in its place, delivered at night by the Three Kings.
Of course, what’s a traditional Mexican celebration without traditional food to go with it? An oval-shaped bread loaf called Rosca de Reyes or Kings’ Wreath, made by panaderías and bakeries all over the country, is served.
My family always eats it with hot chocolate on the evening before Three Kings Day, but many wait until the morning. No matter when you have your Rosca de Reyes, bite carefully because baked inside is a small plastic baby Jesus doll, similar to a Mardi Gras King Cake. If your slice of bread has the doll, you’re the winner! Winners become the hosts of another traditional holiday on a day known as Día de la Candelaria, at which tamales and atole are traditionally served on Feb. 2… but more on that later!
¡Felíz Día de Reyes! Happy Three Kings Day!
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