Tuesday, January 11, 2011

"Dia del los Reyes"

As we were returning to Ajijic from our trip to Mazamitla, we'd seen these signs at bakeries "Rosca de Reyes". Out of curiosity, we stopped to inquire and Roland came back to the car with this colorful wreath of bread! Now you know, we'd had an early dinner already, so dessert was still a possibility. When we arrived back to the RV with our "Rosca de Reyes" in hand we had to Google the occasion to find it's true meaning!

Apparently the Spaniards brought with them the "Epiphany" celebration, or Three Kings Day. It commemorates January 6th as the day the three wise men or kings made it to bring the baby Jesus his gifts.

This Epiphany rings a bell for me (and possibly to several other precious friends) because many years ago the seven or eight of us would do our regular Christmas with others. But save this special date on our calendars for us to gather and exchange time, gifts, possibly a hike and inevitably, a meal. So I could see the bread relevance here right away :)

So, back to the Mexican tradition . . . this beautifully decorated wreath is not only delicious, but it holds a hidden treasure. Somewhere in the bread is a lil' baby Jesus, symbolizing "a safe place where Jesus could be born") and the knife which cuts the bread shows the extreme danger that was involved with keeping Jesus hidden from King Herad.

We of course, launch into the eating part of the celebration and Roland convinces me to fourths, giving big portions away to our hostess, our two casita friends and the crazy but sweet gentleman who lives across the street from us (remember the mild mannered fellow who had the campfire out front his house on Christmas Eve?). This leaves us dessert now and a bit saved for future.

The other part of the tradition that goes along with this is, that the person who ends up with the baby Jesus in their serving, must host a party on February 2nd, with all current attendees as guests, to tie up the final celebration of Christmas with tamales and hot chocolate.

We wrap up the gift portions in clear wrap and launch into our slices, served with yummy vanilla soy milk. I'm munching away, taking conscious bits with my fork, so as not to chomp down on Jesus, should he be in my slice. "SSSSSSSssscrunch", I hear a strange sound with the penetration of my next fork . . . and - tah dah - yep, there he is, "lil' plastic Jesus".

He held still, even upside down, while I took photos for you guys to see. And now, I'm eyeing how to put him in my journal . . . he is kinda thick headed tho. And it will probably have to wait til we are safely home in Oregon anyway (since we leave here this Saturday, early) . . . but, now I need to have a tamale/hot chocolate party on February 2nd.

Anyone want to come?

1 comment:

Irene Brady said...

Hi Elaine, count me in! I'd love to come to your "Lil Jesus" party. I finally just caught up on your wonderful blog -- my computer was in the shop for a week and everything ground to a halt.

I have just finished blogging the first day of my journey to the Amazon, if you'd like to come visit my blog at http://naturejournaling.blogspot.com