For a lot of people the holiday season ends at New Year’s, but not for my family. We still have one more celebration on our calendar, The Feast of Los Reyes Magos (The Three Wise Men).
For us, living in the United States, this wonderful celebration starts on the night of January 5th (in Mexico is celebrated on January 6th), and I thought today would be a good day to share this with you all, in case you want to join the fun.
You still have time to get or make your Rosca de Reyes, gather your families, and celebrate!
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In a perfect world, we would spend every year in Mexico during the Christmas Season.
I have wonderful memories of getting together each year at my abuelita’s house, of playing with my cousins, enjoying the posadas, drinking the ponche (Mexican Christmas Punch), smacking the piñatas, praying, rocking baby Jesus, hugging everybody, eating after midnight, and coming back the next day for leftovers.
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Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to keep this Christmas tradition here in the States, because each year we have been in different places. But traditions are very important to me and one we have been able to keep in our home.
The Feast of Los Reyes Magos
Los Reyes Magos, for me, captures the true meaning of giving and receiving at Christmastime. It’s a day of comfort, joy, family, and prayer, but also of excitement while waiting for the gifts Los Reyes bring to Baby Jesus and to our children.
I love that in my bilingual and bicultural family we get to share celebrations: My kids have both Santa Claus, to whom they write in English, and Los Tres Reyes Magos, to whom they write in Spanish.
So we start celebrating one day in advance. Every January 5, I go to the Mexican market and buy the biggest “Rosca de Reyes” (or I make it a home) I can find and gather my family and as many of my dearest friends as possible.
When our guests arrive, and before we eat dinner, my husband reads the story of the Three Wise Men from the Bible. Then we eat tamales with refried beans and drink agua de jamaica (hibiscus flower agua fresca), or prepare a big pot of green pozole with chicken.
Then we leave the kids to run and play for a little bit while the adults enjoy some conversation.
Finally, we gather around the table and cut the Rosca de Reyes. It is very exciting to see the kids looking for the baby Jesus hidden inside their piece!!
We always have Mexican-style hot chocolate in which to dip our bread, yum!
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At the end of the day, my kids take their shoes and put them under the Christmas Tree along with their wish lists.
They follow mama and papa dutifully to their normal bedtime routine which always goes smoothly because they know they need to be asleep in order to allow the Reyes Magos to come to our home.
The next morning the boys will get up and run to the living room to see what has been left next to their shoes!
There is nothing sweeter than the smiles on those faces. I can’t wait!
¡Feliz Día de Los Reyes!