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Rosca de Reyes Popular Food Item During Three Wise Men Day

Cecilia Garcia shows a Rosca de Reyes baked at Ayala’s Bakery. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

While the holiday season is over for most people, another traditional celebration took place among Hispanics.

Jan. 6 is known as Dia de Los Reyes (Three Wise Men Day) or Dia de la Epifania and it’s a day in which many families give toys to their children after Christmas.

In addition to that, many households celebrate the occasion by sharing a ring-shaped bread called Rosca de Reyes.

Although the pastry is to be eaten on Jan. 6, many bakeries start making and selling the bread a week before and past the date until the product is sold out or taken off the shelves.

At Panaderia La Mexicana here in La Feria more than 100 Roscas de Reyes are usually made and sold on that day.

Baker Sebastian Jesus said they have been selling roscas for more than 10 years and this year was no exception.

“We don’t open on Sunday,” he said last week, “but this time we will.”

The town’s other bakery decided not to sell roscas.

In Brownsville, Ayala’s Bakery on Military Highway began selling roscas all week long and some customers, like Hector Sanchez, have been buying them for quite some time.

“This is something we have been doing for many years,” he said. “This is a tradition for many of us of the Spanish speaking world.”

The Three Wise Men are Gaspar, Balthasar and Melchior, and they visited and brought gifts to baby Jesus during Biblical times, according to some religious accounts.

A rosca is supposed to contain one or more baby Jesus.

And whenever a person happens to get a slice of bread and finds the plastic figure inside it, he or she throws another family gathering and gets the honor of providing tamales to be shared among them on Feb. 2, known as Dia de la Candelaria, or Candlemas.

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