Last updateFri, 08 Dec 2023 8am


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Feasting on the bread of kings

During the first week of January, Mexican bakeries and grocery outlets will be stocked with rosca de reyes, a crown-shaped lightly sweetened bread decorated with jewel-like candied fruits that is the traditional Kings Day holiday treat.

Before the loaves go in the oven, the baker stuffs one or more tiny baby dolls into the raw dough. The infant figures symbolize hiding of the Christ Child for protection from the bloodthirsty King Herod.

Families and friends customarily gather on January 6 to share a rosca, on the understanding that anyone who cuts a slice studded with a doll will be designated as a godparent of the Baby Jesus and by extension, host for a traditional Dia de la Candelaria (Candlemas) tamale feast to be held on February 2 as the holiday season finale.

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