For some, the Christmas holidays end after December 25, but in Mexico, the celebration continues through January 6, Dia de Reyes, Three Kings Day. In some parts of the world, this day is known as Epiphany, and churches use it to celebrate the Christ child and the three Wise Men of the Christmas story. The Three Kings Day Mexico celebrations are filled with gift giving, traditions, and delicious treats. Should you find yourself in Mexico at the beginning of the year, you won’t want to miss out on these Three Kings Day traditions and celebrations, festive ways to experience the local culture.
For centuries, churches around the world have celebrated January 6 as Epiphany or Three Kings Day, but different countries and traditions attribute the day to different elements of Jesus Christ’s life. Some celebrate the day of his baptism, and others celebrate his mother, the Virgin Mary on this date, but what does Three Kings Day celebrate in Mexico? As the name suggests, it’s a celebration of the three Wise Men, the Magi who brought gifts to the Christ child. Stemming from Spanish colonization and Catholic tradition, the Three Kings Day Mexico holiday is a continuation of the Christmas celebration with a focus on this part of the nativity story, and with its own unique Three Kings Day traditions, it’s a cultural experience you won’t want to miss when you travel to Mexico.
The Three Kings Day traditions in Mexico involve all the elements of Christmas: family, gifts, and food. An interesting Three Kings Day fact is that for many children, it’s the three Wise Men who bring Christmas gifts, not Santa Claus, and in the days leading up to the holiday, kids will be writing letters with their hopes and dreams to the Magi. The most important part of how is Three Kings Day celebrated in Mexico is rosca de reyes, kings’ cake. This flaky pastry is shared between family and friends on January 6, and what makes this a unique part of how is Three Kings Day celebrated in Mexico is that somewhere within the cake is hidden a little plastic baby figurine. According to Three Kings Day Mexico tradition, whoever finds the baby in their cake has to invite those present to a meal of tamales on February 2, the Candlemas Day, a day that celebrates the Virgin Mary. Another interesting Three Kings Day fact is that in Mexico, families leave their Christmas trees and decorations up until January 6 for the holiday.
Whether you believe in the history of what does Three Kings Day celebrate or you’re interested in experiencing more Mexican culture, this is a festive holiday with unique traditions. Sharing rosca de reyes and giving a child a gift makes the day merry and bright, and knowing a Three Kings Day fact or two will help you get the most out of the holiday. It’s part of what makes the Christmas holiday season in Mexico so warm and festive, and if you’re lucky enough to be in the country on January 6, you’ll get to taste another part of Mexican culture.