While holiday traditions are over by New Year’s in most countries, in Spain and Latin America the party continues until January 6! Every year on this date, many Spanish-speaking countries celebrate Día de Reyes (“Day of the Kings”, literally, in honor of the Three Wise Men who visited the Baby Jesus in the Bible). It’s believed that on this day, the Three Wise Men bring gifts to children, much like Santa Claus!
Not only is Día de Reyes fun for kids; it’s also a day for families to get together and throw a party with the Rosca de Reyes (literally the “Kings’ Ring”). The Rosca de Reyes is a traditional cake in an oval-shaped ring topped with candied fruits and filled with ingredients like cream cheese or ham.
In addition to delicious fillings, you’ll also find small, white figurines hidden inside each Rosca de Reyes! These figurines represent the Baby Jesus. Family members take turns cutting their piece of the cake to see who gets a piece with the Baby Jesus doll. If your slice has a Baby Jesus, that means that you have to pay for tamales when the group reunites on February 2nd to celebrate Día de la Candelaria (Candlemas Day).
Traditionally, the Rosca de Reyes is accompanied by hot chocolate, and, of course, lots of laughter as the family finds out who got the Baby Jesus in their slice of cake!