Searching for Little Baby Jesus: Three Kings’ Day


Three Kings’ Day special bread: Rosca de Reyes

Jasmeen Kaur, Reporter

Around the world, the winter holidays are celebrated variously by numerous cultures. Families gather to celebrate a religious aspect that brings them closer each year. Junior Joanne Garza is one of many who celebrates this holiday with her family.
Three Kings’ Day, also known as the Epiphany, is celebrated by most Catholics and Christians. It is vastly celebrated in Europe, Spain, and Latin America. Held on the twelfth day of Christmas, January 6th, it commemorates the Three Wise Men finding Jesus after his birth. Christmas Day is just the beginning of these celebrations.
In the Gospel, the Three Wise Men, Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar, distinguish a star the evening before Jesus’ birth and the kings go on the path of that star to find baby Jesus. It takes them twelve days across the desert to reach Bethlehem for baby Jesus. They arrived with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These holy gifts represented Jesus’ divinity and destiny.
Today, this vital holiday is celebrated in many distinct ways by Catholics and Christians. Instead of Santa Claus bringing gifts, children put out their shoes, so the wise men leave presents for them. Earlier, families would leave out grass and salt for the horses or camels the kings would arrive in. The well-behaved children receive gifts, while the others are prone to receiving dirt or charcoal.
Across Spain and Latin America, parades, carnivals, and performances commemorate the day. Tourists are welcomed as this holiday is wholeheartedly celebrated there. Feasts are held by the people where families gather together and rejoice. A vital part of celebrating is the holiday treat “Rosca de Reyes,” also known as the “king’s cake” in other countries. The bread is baked into the shape of the king’s broad crown. People crowd to get a slice of the freshly baked dessert at the bakery made with flour, cinnamon, candied fruits, and more.
“My favorite part of this holiday is coming together as a family and the anticipation that comes with the holiday when every person cuts the piece of bread,” shared Garza.
Inside the bread is concealed a baby Jesus figurine, and whoever finds it has to host the party on Dia de la Candelaria, or Candlemas Day, which occurs on February 2nd.
“In my family, we don’t receive gifts but the person who finds the Jesus figurine has to cook tamales on Candlemas Day,” shared Garza.
In Prague, Three Kings’ Day is celebrated by jumping into cold water wearing crowns, and consuming delicious snacks. There are numerous ways to celebrate this holiday worldwide, bringing everyone together. The celebrations around the world bond loved ones and their cultures closer.