This is How the Modern Family Celebrates Three Kings’ Day!
I grew up in a very traditional Mexican home in the middle of cosmopolitan Houston and though I didn’t see it as a blessing as a child, I definitely do as an adult. Watching my parents spend time to keep our culture alive in the midst of the “new world” has encouraged me to do the same but with a modern twist!
Now as a married woman with a family of my own I would like to pass on some of the same traditions to my kids. My family is actually a bi-cultural family so this alone adds a lot more fun to our holidays. I married an amazing southern man who is 6 feet tall and has blue eyes from Georgia. When I asked him about his cultural heritage he responded with, “Well, I’m just southern.” So we have a mix of beautiful cultures and traditions our boys are growing up with and hopefully will be able to pass them on to their children in some shape or form.
How the Modern Family Celebrates Three Kings’ Day
In Mexico we celebrate Three Kings’ Day by enjoying some of the infamous Rosca de Reyes–King’s bread and Atole. The children leave out their shoes so the kings can fill it with gifts. It’s also good to leave out goodies for the kings and their camels. I was surprised by the responses taken from a recent poll asking Hispanics whom they preferred–Santa or The Three Kings. Guess who won? The Three Kings!
January the 6th is a special day in Mexico. Known as ‘El Dia de Reyes’ (Three Kings Day), this holiday represents the height of the Christmas season. The date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas and commemorates the three wise men who traveled from afar, bearing gifts for the infant baby Jesus.” ~via Mexonline
In our family we don’t give presents because we are trying to simplify our life and adding more knick knacks doesn’t help. So we just enjoy the presence of family with out the added presents.
In our home, we make the Rosca de Reyes with the kids. It’s a messy and delicious family affair of baking. The tradition behind King’s bread, is a holiday dessert which offers much in the way of symbolism.
The bread is in a shape of a circle to resemble the king’s crown. Typically, the bread has a special surprise, inside is a small plastic figurine representing the baby Jesus. Whoever finds the baby then hosts an upcoming party for the occasion of Dia de la Candelaria on February 2nd. The significance behind the baby being hidden inside the bread, goes back to the biblical account when baby Jesus was hidden from King Herod. We don’t do this part instead we do the activity below–King for the day.
This year instead of stuffing ours with the traditional dried fruit and nuts I did it with Nutella and caramel! It was delicious!
Just so you know things don’t always work out perfectly, I’ll tell you about my bread disaster. I took out my perfectly shaped bread out of the oven. As I was admiring it I dropped it and fell onto the floor. Then it looked like this mess below.
Since I’m an expert at making the ugly beautiful I didn’t give up on it and I was able to dust it off and make it presentable. My kids were impressed with my presentation after seeing it splattered on the floor.
You can also just buy it online or at your local grocery store so you don’t have to worry about baking disasters. I still think it’s much more fun to make it.
King for the Day Family Activity
Once we are done baking the bread I have my youngest hide the “baby Jesus” which is an aluminum foil ball that’s big enough so no one chokes on it. Then I share with our boys the history of the Three Kings day which I mentioned above.
Then I tell our boys that whoever gets baby Jesus gets to be the “King for the Day”!
Our boys love this part! King Daddy shares his crown with one of the boys for the day. The “king” gets to pick the meal for the day and wears the crown all day.