Three Kings Day in El Paso

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Hi everyone! I hope your Wednesday went well! Today is Three Kings Day or Dia de los Reyes. The holiday is also known as Epiphany Day. The day commemorates  when the three kings/wise men traveled to visit baby Jesus after his birth. The kings/wise men took gifts to Baby Jesus. Some Hispanic/Latino families are celebrating today. They’re opening gifts and having parties. Some open their gifts on January 6th instead of December 25. Some Latino families believe the Three Kings or even Baby Jesus brings them gifts. They don’t believe in Santa Claus.

A huge part of the Three Kings Day celebration/tradition is eating a slice of rosca. A rosca is an oval-shaped sweet bread/pastry that represents a king’s crown. The rosca includes dried fruit, maraschino cherries and pecans with drizzles of frosting on top of it. To me, it kind of tastes like a cinnamon roll, minus all of the gooey white frosting on top of it. The bread contains one or two (sometimes more) baby Jesus figurines inside of it. Those who cut into the rosca and find a baby Jesus are expected to host a dinner party on February 2 or Candlemas Day (Dia de las Candelarias). The host typically serves tamales, atole (thick hot chocolate) or pozole (a spicy soup with hominy. There are variations to this recipe). Jesus was presented at the Temple on Feb.2. Candlemas Day also celebrates the early life of Jesus.

Even though El Paso is so close to Mexico, I don’t think it’s celebrated here as much as Latin American countries. My family doesn’t observe the holiday. Our Christmas decorations are put away on or a couple of days after Three Kings Day. Christmas Day is always celebrated with my family on December 25. Although we believe in the three kings, we believe Santa brings us gifts. A couple of my work colleagues brought in a rosca for everyone this morning. This was the extent of me celebrating Three Kings Day. I didn’t get a baby Jesus when I cut my slice of rosca. Larger cities like New York City host a Three Kings Day parade.

Photo taken by a fellow co-worker.

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11 comments

  1. I suppose there’s nothing like celebrating Three Kings’ Day in Mexico 🙂 When I was growing up in Texas, my parents still got us gifts on January 6th, and my mom baked a Three Kings’ Cake, but my sisters and I had to go to school and that was a drag. Fortunately, my children get to enjoy this holiday in Mexico. Happy New Year!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohh that sounds fun! My son went back to school on the 5th. It’s not really a big holiday here. We’re only 45 minutes away from Mexico. The holiday is celebrated a lot more over there. Schools and businesses shut down over there but not here in El Paso.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Three Kinds Day is a holiday over here. That’s why the kids are off from Dec. 24th – January 6th. We are having the “Three Kings Cake”. That is usually 7 sweet buns baked as one loaf. Everybody picks one bun. In one bun a little toy king is hidden. The one that picked the bun with the king is the “King” and may wear a crown (that comes with the loaf). Although our kids don’t wear a crown anymore they still have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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