El Dia de Tres Reyes is the holiday many Mexican children look forward to. It is January 6th, not Christmas day, that many children across Mexico receive and open gifts.Â This day, known as the Epiphany, is the final celebration for the Christmas season. It marks the day when the Wise Men arrived bearing gifts for the Christ child.
The alter above is similar to those many homes create to honor the occasion. Throughout Mexico, it is the Three Wise Men, or Magi, who bring gifts to the children. Of course children do their part to honor Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar in hopes of receiving desired goods.
One of the most popular treats on dia de Tres Reyes is Rosca de Reyes. This sweet bread is shaped in the round to represent a king’s crown. The dessert holds a special surprise innside as a plastic baby Jesus is baked into the bread. Whoever is served that particular piece must host the annual Candalmas party on February 2nd.
As with other tradtions, some things change for marketing sake. Throughout neighborhood bakeries in America, as well as Mexico, smaller versions of the Rosca are sold throughout the Christmas season, more often the later part from New Year’s Eve until the Ephinany. These smaller cakes, like cupcakes, are quite the draw for children or adults looking for a sweet to drink with their morning coffee.