Día de Reyes

Informant: Valentina Williamson. 11 years old. Born and raised in Mexico City. My little sister.

Informant: “On January 6 Los Reyes Magos (The Three Wise Men) arrive! The night before, I leave my shoe next to the window and when I wake up I find a gift in it. It is like a small gift. Like last year I got candy and an iTunes gift card. I love this because I get gifts after Christmas (Informant smiles).”

Collector: “Why do they bring gifts”

Informant: “Emmm…Los Reyes Magos delivered gifts to Jesus when he was born. Los Reyes Magos bring gifts because of that”

Collector: “Do you do anything else to celebrate this day?!”

Informant: “Estem…. La Rosca!! How could I forget?! We usually have a dinner with my friends and family. After dinner, there is a very special dessert called ‘la Rosca de Reyes.’ Sometimes it has pieces of dried fruit in it but I don’t like that one so I make dad buy the other one. So we pass it around and everyone cuts their own piece. There is like a little baby Jesus hidden somewhere. Whoever gets the baby Jesus in their piece has to host a dinner and bring tamales! That person doesn’t really do it but we all them him or her to!”

Thoughts: The Dia de Reyes is very important. Because Mexico is very religious, there is a strong emphasis on celebrating Christ. When I was a little kid, I didn’t get gifts from the wise men as it wasn’t something my parents did. As an older brother, however, I was actually the one who first put the gifts in my sister’s shoe. I wanted her to have the tradition. Since I’m abroad, my parents have kept it and my sister loves it.