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 that shortly after, arrived in Mexico during the conquest. Since then, it is 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 Magi, Melchior, Gaspar and Baltazar, (mounted 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 the Magi finally meet the Child Jesus, it is called epiphany, an encounter that symbolizes the ¨Rosca de Reyes¨.
For Christians, the oval shape of the thread (Rosca de Reyes) represents the infinite circle of love for God. The crystallized dried fruits that adorn the bread, symbolize the jewels embedded in the crowns of the Magi, the hidden doll, represents the Child Jesus.
In San Miguel de Allende and all over Mexico, there is a tradition that those who find the figure of the Child Jesus must take care of it until February 2, which is celebrated on “Candlemas Day.”
Thus, in the early morning of January 6, children receive gifts that the kings leave them at home in representation of the gifts that they brought to the Child Jesus.