“Rosca de Reyes”, tradition full of different and beautiful meanings
The origin of the Rosca de Reyes is a tradition that had its beginnings in the Middle Ages (14th century) in European countries such as France and Spain, which shortly after arrived in Mexico during the conquest. Since then, it has been customary to break a bagel, which is characterized by having a circular shape, a symbol of God's eternal love that has no beginning or end.
The story goes that three Wise Men, Melchior, Gaspar and Baltazar, (riding on a camel, a horse, and an elephant), traveled from the East to Jerusalem guided by a star, to worship a newborn prophet and bring him three offerings: gold, frankincense and myrrh. The three “Kings of the East” found the Child, who was three days old, prostrated themselves before him and gave him the three offerings. The day when the Three Wise Men finally meet the Baby Jesus is called epiphany, an encounter that symbolizes the Rosca de Reyes.
For Christians, the oval shape of the donut represents the infinite circle of love for God. The crystallized dried fruits that decorate the bread symbolize the jewels embedded in the crowns of the Three Wise Men. The baby Jesus is placed inside the thread and symbolizes when Joseph and Mary hid Jesus from Herod.
In Mexico there is a tradition that whoever finds the figure of the Child Jesus must take care of it until February 2nd, when “Candelaria Day” is celebrated.
Thus, currently, in the early morning of January 6, children receive gifts that the kings leave them in their homes representing the gifts they brought to the Child Jesus.