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?



Grapes, Cider and Family on NYE

We didn’t do anything crazy for New Years Eve 2012/2013. Most of my friends went down to party in Playa del Carmen, but we opted for dinner with my in-laws since we hadn’t seen them much over the holidays.

Jorge’s family is Catholic, so of course we went to the NYE mass at 10 pm. They had set up a very pretty nativity scene, and it was fun to see everyone so dressed up at church.

Many Spanish-speaking countries (Mexico included) have a tradition of eating 12 grapes at midnight on New Years Eve to represent 1 resolution for each month of the year. As you can imagine, grape prices can skyrocket on December 31! My suegra was fully prepared with a bowl full of grapes for us, along with cider (sidra) to wash it down.

My suegro and brother-in-law

My suegra and me

My friend Penny joined us just in time for grapes at the stroke of midnight, and we spent the rest of the night talking, having dinner and drinking Baileys. I turned in at 5:30 am, but the rest of the family stayed up well past dawn. I can’t compete with the Mexicans when it comes to staying up late.

What did you do for NYE? Were there grapes involved?