Hot Chocolate and a Plastic Baby Jesus!

Our weekend trip to visit Jorge’s family in the village of Chabihau was just what I needed! Tomorrow I’ll tell ya’ll about my bad Saturday morning of culture shock as we tried to get there via public transportation, but today I want to focus on the Rosca de Reyes tradition.

January 6 is Dia de Reyes (3 Kings Day) in Latin America, where the 3 Wise Men visit children and bring them gifts. However, Mexican adults can also join in on the traditions by cutting the Rosca de Reyes cake. Each of these oval-shaped cakes has 3 tiny plastic baby Jesus figurines baked inside. The people who cut a piece with a baby Jesus have to pay for tamales for everybody on February 2, Dia de la Candelaria, another holiday. It’s like 2 parties in 1!

Here we are with Jorge’s father’s family, cutting our Rosca de Reyes accompanied by some traditional hot chocolate.

Jorge peering in to see a baby Jesus figurine

Jorge's dad got the baby Jesus, too!

It was bad luck for our family because Jorge, his dad and I all got baby Jesuses (sp???) in our pieces of rosca, so we’ll have to chip in for the tamales in February!

The kids had some leftover sparklers from New Years Eve celebrations, so the little girls all headed out to the street after the rosca cutting to play. (I love how in Mexico, 5-year-olds can play with sparklers and fun snaps with little to zero adult supervision.)

Did any of you get a plastic baby Jesus this weekend? Or maybe play with fireworks unsupervised?

 

 

Mexican Traditions: Cake and the Baby Jesus

Those of you who took high school Spanish might remember a popular Latin American holiday: El Dia de Reyes (or “Three Kings Day”).

Falling on January 6, this holiday is celebrated throughout Mexico. The three “Reyes Magos” (aka the Three Wise Men) bring gifts to little kids, Santa-Clause-style.

Another popular tradition on El Dia de Reyes is cutting the Rosca de Reyes (King’s Cake). If you find a tiny plastic Baby Jesus in your slice of cake, that means you have to bring tamales for everyone to enjoy on February 2nd, El Dia de la Candelaria (Candlemas Day).

This past Friday, my office department ordered our Rosca from a popular local bakery called Tere Cazola, complete with cream cheese filling. (yum!) I did not get the Baby Jesus figurine at our office Rosca-cutting! Saved!

My Jesus-less slice at the office

In the evening, however, Jorge and I were invited to a get-together with some of our friends. I wasn’t feeling well and stayed home, but Jorge cut my piece for me. Turns out I  got the Baby Jesus and will be one of the lucky 3 friends bringing tamales to our get-together on February 2nd.

My coworker's slice of Rosca, complete with Baby Jesus

In other words… El Dia de Reyes is a great excuse for Mexicans to throw TWO parties: the rosca-cutting on January 6th, and the follow-up tamale party on February 2nd. Gotta love Mexico, right?

Hopefully I’ll get to blog about all my tamale-parties on February 2nd! Can’t wait 🙂