Rosca de Reyes

Rosca de Reyes is a Mexican Tradition

Rosca de Reyes, a Mexican tradition and religious holiday
En Español

The Rosca de Reyes, or ring-shaped Rosca de Reyes is a sweet round, cake or oval shape Mexican bread, decorated with slices of crystallized or candied fruit colors. The King cake is also called: biscuit, cake or sweet bread to celebrate the three kings.

The celebration of Epiphany to enjoy the Rosca de Reyes is a Mexican tradition that takes place, 12 days after Christmas, each year in social reunions with family, friends or colleagues in offices or homes. This meeting is usually done a few days before or after January 6 at the offices or places outside the home, however for the family reunions they are normally held in homes on the sixth day of January in the evening, Epiphany Day or the appearance of the Wise Men or Magi Kings: Balthazar, Melchior and Caspar.

This tradition of eating together and sharing a rosca de reyes bread with a hot chocolate to remember the Holy Kings, is made as a snack or pre-dinner at an early hour in the late evening, so that children are present and can participate in the tradition of getting together to enjoy and share a slice of rosca de reyes

Rosca de Reyes with plastic doll
Rosca de Reyes with plastic doll

and it is important when you cut a slice, that on both sides of the rosca, does not appear the figure of the infant Jesus (plastic doll symbolizing Jesus newborn). It is worth to mention that also a small showing inside may bearly appear in the sweet bread. Now in days another figure of a Wise Men of plastic may be hidden inside the bread, so that two people who are to split the party cost. It is said that the person who finds the baby Jesus, should put the house for a party on Candlemas Day on February 2. On this day your guest are expecting to eat tamales and Mexican appetizers, so it is important to re-join the same group that was present when the rosca was cut. Incidentally, the person who finds the plastic wise man or Magi King in his or hers slice, normally must pay the costs of the party, in reality the expenses of the party is shared by both persons. It is considered to have good luck and that you are fortunate if you find the baby Jesus and/or the Wise Man.

The tradition of holding the reunion to celebrate the Day of the Epiphany comes from the middle ages in Europe, mainly from Spain and France. This tradition came to Mexico at the time of the early years of the viceroys.


  1. Check out the article A huge Rosca for Tijuana’s unity that mentions Pastelería El Molino teaming up with Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT) to create a huge 300 meters (984 feet long) rosca de reyes that was shared with thousands of families from Tijuana yesterday on Dia de Reyes or Three Kings Day.

  2. Por Dios, la rosca de Reyes es una tradicion que se origino en EEESSSPPAAAAANNAAAAA! Y de ahi paso a toda America Latina, no solo a Mexico. No se puede ser tan ignorantes!

  3. thanks for your help.I help a french girl friend of mine ,traducing spanish mails that she receives from mexicans girl friends.The mail about their epithany tradition was in a incomprehensible french and i needed to know better about the mexican tradition .Denyse from France

  4. It is not a Mexican tradition; started in Rome before the 3rd century. The tradition was brought to México by Spanish conquistadors. The roots of this tradition are not Catholic, but, yes, it is religious.
    No es una tradición mexicana; comenzó en Roma antes del Siglo III (que fue cuando por primera vez se introdujo la sorpresa). La costumbre fue traida a México por los españoles. Las raices no son católicas pero si religiosas,

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