Rosca de Reyes Recipe

The Merienda de Reyes is truly a multicultural event.

 The Spaniards brought the tradition of celebrating the Epiphany and sharing the Rosca to the New World.  The Rosca is served along with Tamales, made of corn which was the pre-Hispanic food per excel lance, and hot chocolate.
Chocolate is also a gift from the native peoples of the New World.

Hidden inside this delicious Rosca, a plastic figurine of the Baby Jesus. The Baby is hidden because it symbolizes the need to find a secure place where Jesus could be born, a place where King Herod would not find Him.

Each person cuts a slice of the Rosca .  The knife symbolizes the danger in which the Baby Jesus  was in.

One by one the guests carefully inspect their slice, hopping they didn’t get the figurine.

Whoever gets the baby figurine shall be the host, and invite everyone present to a new celebration on February 2, Candelaria  or Candle mass day, and he also shall get a new Ropón or dress for the Baby Jesus of the Nativity scene.



  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 7 eggs
  • 125 grams butter
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp aniseed
  • 100 grams raisins
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 50 grams candied figs
  • 50 grams candied orange
  • 50 grams candied lemon
  • 50 grams candied cherries
  • 50 grams candied citron
  • 1 beaten egg
  • sugar
  • butter
  • flour


¡Ya Vienen Los Reyes Magos! The Three Wise Men Are Coming!

The Three Wise Men Day    Dia de Reyes

After New Year’s Day, Mexican families still have a very special date to commemorate and enjoy.  On January 6, most of the Hispanic world & culture celebrates El Dia De Reyes, the Epiphany, remembering the day when the Three Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem, arrived bearing their treasured gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the Baby Jesus.  

Picture by Tito Caballero

The Reyes Magos In  La Alameda                                          

A couple of days earlier, the children write their letters to the Wise Men, or to their favorite Rey Mago: Melchor, Gaspar, or Baltasar, asking for the presents they would like to receive. 

During the evenings before the great celebration on January 6, families go to the Alameda, in Mexico City, a beautiful park that dates back to the Colonial era. There, every year, hundreds of stands are placed with food, toys and best of all, there are sets, where the children can have their picture taken with the Three Kings of the Orient.This has been a tradition in the Mexican culture for centuries now.

Hundreds of multicolored balloons, filled with helium, are sold during the season, so the little ones can attach their letters to them, and have them fly, up to the sky, carrying all their wishes with them.

 If they forgot their letters at home, there is no need to worry, there are also salesmen that offer writing paper and envelopes specially designed for the occasion and addressed to the Reyes Magos. This lovely tradition of going to the Alameda park is passed on from one generation to another.  I have a picture of my husband, when a small child, with the Reyes Magos, set on a photo-album alongside some photographs of my children with them.

Traditional Song: Ya Vienen Los Reyes Magos

Ya vienen los Reyes Magos
ya vienen los Reyes Magos
caminito de Belén
olé, olé, Holanda y olé
Holanda ya se ve

Cargaitos de jugetes
cargaitos de jugetes
para el Niño de Belén
olé, olé, Holanda y olé
Holanda ya se ve

Qué cargados van
qué cargados van
los camellos rebozan jugetes
para el Rey de los cielos
que está en el portal

Que está en el portal
que está en el portal
los camellos rebozan jugetes
para el Rey de los cielos
que está en el portal

Como el camino es tan largo
como el camino es tan largo
pide el Niño de beber
olé, olé Holanda y olé
Holanda ya se ve

No pidas agua mi vida
no pidas agua mi vida
no pidas agua mi bien
olé, olé Holanda y olé
Holanda ya se ve

Que los ríos vienen turbios
que los ríos vienen turbios
y no se puede beber
olé, olé Holanda y olé
Holanda ya se ve

Dicen que nació
dicen que nació
sin pañales ni ropa ninguna
y la misma luna sábanas de Dios

Sábanas de Dios
sábanas de Dios
sin pañales ni ropa ninguna
y la misma luna sábanas de Dios.

The Wise Men are coming
the Wise Men are coming
on their way to Bethlehem
olé, olé, Holy land and olé
Holy land can be seen.


Carrying lots of toys
carrying lots of toys
for the Child in Bethlehem
olé, olé, Holy land and olé
Holy land can be seen.

What a load they carry
what a load they carry
the camels bearing all the toys
for the King of Heaven
that is in the portal.
That is in the portal
that is in the portal
the camels are loaded with toys
for the King of Heaven
who is in the portal.
Since the journey is too long
since the journey is too long
the Child asks for water
olé, olé, Holy land and olé
Holy land can be seen.
Don’t ask for water my love
don’t ask for water my love
don’t ask for water my dear
olé, olé, Holy land and olé
Holy land can be seen.

The rivers are turbid
the rivers are turbid
and you can’t drink its water
olé, olé, Holy land and olé
Holy land can be seen.


They say He was born
they say He was born
without dippers or cloths
but  the moon is God’s bed sheet.
God’s bed sheets
God’s bed sheets
without dippers or cloths
but the moon is God’s bed sheet.

Three Kings Day Los Reyes Magos

During the era of the kings of France, bread was filled with a lima bean, and the person who found it in his bread would receive the gift that His Highness had prepared for the event.  The idea was to place a lima bean in the bread dough, which was usually filled with fruits like dates and raisins, and this bread was shared around the time of the New Year festivities.

The tradition changed a bit when it arrived to the Americas, transforming itself according to the customs and resources of our country, where it eventually became the rosca.  Here therosca is decorated with pieces of orange and lime, and is filled with nuts, figs, and cherries. Hot chocolate accompanies the rosca.

So every year, on January 6, families all across Mexico gather around their tables to share the rosca de reyes.  And now, instead of finding a lima bean in the bread, a little plastic doll representing Jesus is placed in the bread.  The person who receives a piece of bread with this doll inside has to make the tamales used in the fiesta de la Candelaria on February 2.  This celebration is the last of the Christmas festivities, 40 days after Jesus’s birth.

According to the story, the three Wise Men (called in that time “magicians”, although they were actually astronomers) saw from the far east the birth of a star over the town of Bethlehem, and they discovered the meaning behind the star:  a savior had been born.  They traveled to Bethlehem, and along the way they found the King Herod, whom they told of the birth of the new King.  Herod ordered them to find the baby and return to give the news of the place where the little Messiah had been born.

The three wise men found the baby in a manger, adored by shapers, and they offered him three gifts:  gold, which represented the spiritual wealth of the child; frankincense, which signifies the earth and the sky; and Myrrh, the oil which was used for medicinal as well as spiritual purposes.  Upon their return, an angel warned them that they should not tell King Herod about the birth of Jesus because his plan was to kill the baby.  So the three wise men returned by way of a different path to their homeland.

So every year we celebrate the Epifanía (manifestation) of God on earth to the Reyes Magos…who were neither kings nor magicians.

Theme Related  DVDs:

Noche Buena A Mexican Christmas 
DVD & VHS  English & Spanish

Fiestas Mexicanas: Mexican Holidays
DVD & VHS  English & Spanish

Fiestas Mexicanas MEXICAN HOLIDAYS

Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, Day of the Dead, Flag Day, Christmas… and many more Fiestas all in one video! Take a glance through the calendar, month by month, at some of the most impressive festivities that take place in Mexico. Through these Fiestas get to see the richest expressions of Mexico’s popular culture, their indigenous past, their religious fervor, the deep-rooted sense of tradition and community. Come and enjoy with us these wonderful days of celebration!

“Sole Source”

Interviews in Spanish with English subtitles. Length: 25 min.
DVD open to all regions. Viewable NTSC, PAL systems.