Three Kings´Day or Día de los Reyes Magos is a special holiday for Latinos.
Long after many have cleaned the scraps of wrapping paper off the carpet, set the Christmas tree out by the curb, and put the ornaments safely back in the closet until next year, Latinos are still celebrating. The holiday known as Día de Los Reyes Magos or Three Kings’ Day falls on January 6 for most, and it is a celebration of the Christian faith in remembrance of the three kings arriving to greet baby Jesus.
Latin Americans and Latinos in the U.S. have unique traditions for Día de los Reyes which vary from country to country. I asked some of my amigas blogueras to share their most memorable Día de Los Reyes moments and traditions. Here is what they told me!
It’s a running joke in our family that I’ll always cut the piece of rosca de reyes with the baby Jesus figurine inside when I celebrate Día de los Reyes in Mexico. If you get the baby in your piece [of bread], you’re responsible for supplying tamales for Día de la Candelaria (February 2) for the group, and since I live in the U.S., everybody likes to tease me that I’ll just have to come back to Mexico to bring them tamales on that day. —Maura Hernandez, The Other Side of The Tortilla
There was one particular year that I remember vividly because I did something that I regret to this day. I can remember that I wanted one of those Barbie motorcycles; I think they were a hot item back then. When I opened my gift, it was a Barbie scooter instead, or maybe it was a moped. What I know is that it wasn’t the motorcycle I wanted. And I said, in my little whiny voice, ‘Esto no es lo que yo queria!‘ (This isn’t what I wanted!) I was of course quickly reprimanded and told to appreciate what the kings had brought me because other kids may not have gotten anything. But, I can still remember my mami’s face right before she scolded me. When I was old enough and learned that my parents were the ones that actually provided the gifts, and that it wasn’t actually Los Reyes, I felt horrible. I know that I apologized to my mom at one point or another, maybe even multiple times. I will probably apologize again today and we’ll laugh it off. —Melanie Edwards, Modern Mami
Read Related: Toy Reviews: Five Gift Ideas for Three Kings’ Day
My kiddies love the tradition of leaving one of their shoes by their beds for the Reyes Magos to leave their gifts. But Día de Reyes is really all about the Rosca and hot chocolate! We have so much fun watching everyone slice into the Rosca to see who’s going to make the tamales for El Día de la Candelaria, especially since we special order our Rosca with more than a dozen figurines… We started ordering our Rosca with a bunch of figurines, because when all of the kiddies (my four, plus my nephews and niece) were little, they’d cry because they all wanted a Niño Dios figurine, and since most Roscas only come with three, there were never enough figurines for all of them. It’s a tradition that we’ve continued ever since. As for who has to make the tamales…we don’t really “make” anybody make the tamales. We usually get together for a huge carne asada on El Día de la Candelaria, or we pitch in to have the tamales made for our fiesta… In our family, we believe that whoever finds the Niño Dios in their slice of Rosca will be blessed all year! —Leslie Limon, La Casa de Leslie
We just started doing the holiday with my kids this year and I loved how excited my children were to learn a new part of their culture. —Nadia Jones, Justice Jonesie
Do you celebrate Día de Los Reyes? What’s your favorite tradition or memory?