I'm from Mexico City and lived in the U.S. for a total of more than 24 years. Now I'm back in Mexico. I realized I was seeing my country through the eyes of a native stranger. This is an attempt to process the differences, to explain Mexico to the U.S. and the U.S. to Mexico. With digressions along the way.

jueves, enero 06, 2005

Three Kings Day

Ever wonder about the "12 days of Christmas"? Well, those are December 25th through the "Día de los Reyes Magos" (Three King's Day), which is today. Of course, just like with Christmas, we celebrate it the night before. As soon as Christmas is over, Santa Claus mysteriously disappears from television ads and shop windows to be replaced by Baltasar, Melchor, and Gaspar. You're supposed to leave your shoes out on the night of the 5th, and the three kings will bring you gifts and leave them in your shoes. The night of the 5th (and, well, a bunch of days before and the 6th too, since Mexicans like to extend their holidays as much as possible), we have "rosca de reyes" (pictured here). Inside is a little plastic baby Jesus. Whoever gets this doll is then obligated to host a party the "Día de la Candelaria," February 2nd. Supposedly before instead of a baby Jesus they used a bean. Now they go nuts and put in several dolls. One year we practically had the whole manger, three kings and all. This year it turned out Jesus was a triplet.


Blogger dr.v (Not a narcotic Pez dispenser) said...

we celebrated Dia de los Reyes when we were growing up.
We knew Santa and los Reyes were really the parents but it was fun to play along. This year mom bought a rosca, too.

7:26 p. m.

Blogger No. 3 said...

como decimos en Mexico: que chingon!

Me gusto mucho tu site.... yo vivo en Hermosillo Sonora y aun asi estamos muy descentralizado del DF. y lo habia leido en otros lados, pero que mejor leerlo de tus palabras...... gracias!!! ya sabes, cuando quieras conocer Sonora...

saludos! Sergio.

7:43 p. m.

Blogger Nayeli said...

I just heard that the reason they've been putting in so many dolls in the roscas is so more than one person has to invite the tamales on February 2nd. The person who gets the doll also has to take care of and dress the baby Jesus (not the one from the rosca, a larger doll). In the market by my house, there are tons of stands with handwritten signs that say "Se visten y reparan niños Dios" (Baby Jesuses dressed and repaired). The first time I read that it seemed really weird, and I still chuckle every time I read one of those signs.

1:12 p. m.


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