Long Live the Tradition of Three Kings Day

Three Kings Day, or Día de los Santos Reyes, marks the day that the Three Kings came to visit baby Jesus, bearing gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In Mexico, the holiday is filled with wonderful traditions.

Dignitaries Arriving for the Festivities. Photo by © Tlajomulco Municipal Government-Ayuntamiento de Tlajomulco, 2011

Children hide their shoes under the Christmas tree or by the nativity scene only to find them filled with presents the next morning. Tiny dolls, signifying baby Jesus, are baked into sweet rounds of bread, called Rosca, and shared by the whole family. But, by far, our favorite ritual is the annual boating event held in Cajititlan de Los Reyes near Guadalajara.

Round Rosca Bread with Baby Doll

Picture this scene — the morning of January 6, large statues of the Three Kings, paraded from the church through the streets of Cajititlan, accompanied by vibrant dancers and musicians, children in costume, prancing horses, elaborate floats, and a sea of devout believers and happy revelers.

Crowds Celebrating on the Shore Photo © Tlajomulco Municipal Government-Ayuntamiento de Tlajomulco, 2011

When the Three Kings reach the shore of the lake, each is loaded into his own motorboat and the race begins. The Three Kings and their entourage circle the lake as crowds onshore cheer on their favorite.

The Three Kings’ Boats Are Launched. Photo by © Tlajomulco Municipal Government-Ayuntamiento de Tlajomulco, 2011

We take every opportunity to celebrate cultural traditions, to help keep stories alive, and honor the past as part of the present. On this Three Kings Day, we turn a spotlight on our incredible Mexican artisans and the wonderful works they bring to the world.


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Rachael Wissman
Rachael Wissman
15 days ago

Super cool. Although don’t know about the bread