The Origins and Traditions of Roscas de Reyes

The Origins and Traditions of Roscas de Reyes

Rosca de Reyes is a traditional bread in the Mexican culture that is enjoyed with family and friends on Epiphany Day or Kings Day.

Every year on January 6th, hispanics and Mexicans alike hold gatherings with family and friends to partake in the celebration of Día de los Reyes Day by cutting a slice of the rosca. A small plastic figurine is placed inside the Rosca bread prior to cutting, this figurine represents baby Jesus. It is considered to be good luck if the figurine is in the slice you receive.The person who finds the figurine of Jesus is designated to throw a fiesta and provide tamales on Día de la Candelaria which falls on February 2nd. 

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Following religious origins, roscas are a traditional Mexican bread in the shape of a ring (or also the crown), that represents the Wise Men’s search for the King of the Jews, henceforth the tradition of the person finding the baby in their slice of rosca.

The tradition of eating Rosca de Reyes actually started in France, in the 14th century. The way it was eaten was almost a ritual in itself. A slice of bread was first given to a poor person or stranger, then the next slices were intended for those serving in the King’s army, and the rest of the bread was distributed among the other guests. This tradition soon expanded to other countries in Europe and later to Latin America.

This tradition came to Mexico at the time of the early years of the viceroys.

Sources:, What Is Día de Los Reyes (Three Kings’ Day)? And How Do You Celebrate It? (Marquez, 2019) Rosca de Reyes is a Mexican Tradition (Unknown, 2019)