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What is Día de los Reyes and why is it celebrated with a cake?

Día de los Reyes, also known as Epiphany is celebrated on January 6 when los magos or the three wise men first met baby Jesus and brought him gifts.
A rosca de reyes bread, right out of the oven and ready for the public to enjoy.

TEXAS, USA — The Hispanic community is wrapping up the holidays this week with Día de los Reyes on January 6.

Día de los Reyes, also known as Epiphany is celebrated as the day los magos or the three wise men first met baby Jesus and brought him gifts.

Melchor (Melchior), Gaspar (Casper), and Baltasar (Balthazar) are the three kings that represent Europe, Arabia, and Africa that travel 12 days following a star in the desert that led them to baby Jesus. Each king gave baby Jesus a gift: gold, frankincense, and myrhh. 

Many Christians and Catholics across Europe and Latin America celebrate this holiday. There are many unique traditions connected to el Día de los Reyes and traditions are celebrated in different ways across different parts of the world.

Traditions:

  • Europe: 
    • Día de Los Reyes is celebrated with parades and performances on this day.
    • The Christmas tree is taken down and burnt in a big bonfire. 
    • Children line up their shoes outside the house so that the three kings know where to leave gifts.
  • North & South America:
    • Día de Los Reyes is celebrated with a king cake for dessert called the “Rosca de Reyes.” The cake has a plastic figurine of Jesus hidden inside, and whichever guest finds the figurine in their portion of the cake must make tamales for everyone on the Day of the Candles on on February 2.

Celebrations and Roscas in East Texas:

  • Ruby's Mexican Restaurant is hosting Rosca de Reyes con premios event on Jan. 6 at all 3 locations in Tyler. Buy a rosca and if you find baby Jesus, you get a free dessert or meal next time you visit Ruby's.
  • La Tiendita and Corazones Unidos 7th Annual Día de los Reyes event on Jan. 8 from 3 to 5 p.m. in Tyler. There will be activities, food, vendors, and raffles. All children will receive a free toy from the three wise man!
  • Panaderia El Buen Gusto in Henderson is selling roscas in different sizes: small, medium, and large.
  • Panaderia Nuevo León in Tyler is selling roscas in different sizes: small, medium, and large. 

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