Three Kings Day

Informant Information:

Juan Lucero is a student at the University of Southern California studying Mechanical Engineering. He also works at the USC Bookstore in his spare time. He is from a Mexican (Spanish) background, and moved from Chicago, IL to Los Angeles, CA for college.


“Every year after Christmas we put a little toy statue of one of the three wise men into a cake. As we eat it for the Day of the Three Kings. In Spanish we call them kings but in English it’s wise men. We cut up the cake and whoever gets the piece with the king in it, they have to make a bunch of tamales for Easter”

Q: Is this celebration normal in your culture?

“I think so yeah. I’ve seen other people do it”

Q: Does your family have a personal twist on the tradition?

“We don’t make the cake we buy the cake. Instead of tamales for Easter, we make and eat them the next weekend”


The informant’s celebration of the Day of the Three Kings is very standard. The cake as well as the figure hidden inside the cake remains true to the traditional celebration. The one thing the seems to differ is what happens after the figure is found. In the informant’s version, whoever finds the figure is required to make tamales. They also make the tamales the next weekend as opposed to Easter. In traditional celebrations, whoever finds the figure is required to purchase the next cake for the next year, not for Easter.