Rosca de Reyes with Casa HOY
05.01.2012 - 06.01.2012
The Rosca de Reyes is one of my (many) favorite traditions in Mexico. It is especially important to me, however, because the first time I did it on my own (without Casa HOY) I didn’t have any money and I basically ended up eating rosca for the next few days. But the idea of tradition, even if it’s not my own cultural tradition, is something that is important to conserve, especially if you’re living in another country. Traditions help you remember special events and just make you feel all warm and toasty inside. They remind you that you’re part of something bigger. It’s a tradition that I’ve tried to keep over the past few years, and this year I was lucky enough to share not one but TWO roscas with my friends, family and students.
The rosca, or round/oval shaped bread, is traditionally eaten on January 5th at night or anytime on January 6th. In Mexico, the bakers have hidden a toy baby Jesus (and maybe even his family – this year I found Joseph and a tree) inside the rosca. The hidden baby Jesus represents his escape from King Herod’s attempt to kill the prophesied messiah. Whoever finds the baby Jesus has to host a party on February 2nd, Candlemas Day (when baby Jesus was presented at the Temple). As with most holidays and traditions in Mexico, food is a major highlight: the host must provide tamales and atole for everyone on that day.
At Casa HOY, we cut the rosca at night, on the 5th. Lucky HOY volunteer Calanthia got the baby Jesus…so looks like she’ll have to get a good tamale recipe before she leaves so she can host the party in February. For those of you visiting Casa HOY in the future, the best tamales are at the Oxxo (similar to a 7-11) from the guys that sell them out of coolers. Don’t mind that. Sometimes the best food is the sketchy food!
Happy Three Kings Day from all of us at Casa HOY!