Three Kings Day,3 Kings Day

January 6, 2010 by USA Post 

reyes-magos-de-oriente-300x285Three Kings Day,3 Kings Day:For many families in Salinas, the holidays aren’t over.
Hundreds of mostly Mexican faithful will gather in their homes today to eat a ring-shaped loaf of sweet bread called “Rosca de Reyes,” and drink hot chocolate in celebration of Three Kings Day.

The religious holiday commemorates the visit by three wise men to see the baby Jesus after his birth.

Ovens kept temperatures high at the La Soledad Bakery in east Salinas as bakers made 500 loaves of the traditional bread on Tuesday.

Today, the family-owned bakery anticipates making up to 3,000 loaves topped with cherries and figs.

“It’s the busiest day of the year,” said Linda Santos, manager of La Soledad. “Our machines will be working at full-throttle.”
The holiday has been lucrative each year for many local Mexican bakeries. In the past two years, La Soledad Bakery has doubled the number of roscas it bakes — about 1,500 loaves were made in 2008.
“It has a lot to do with the community,” Santos said. “We have a lot of immigrants and celebrating this holiday makes them feel close to their homeland.”
Santos’ sister Delia said eating the holiday bread brings families together.
Each rosca, which costs between $8 and $30, is made with plastic figurines of the baby Jesus baked inside. Those who find the figurines in their servings of bread are tapped to host a tamale party Feb. 2.
According to Christian teachings, three wise men from the Orient brought gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense to newborn Jesus.
On Jan. 6, children in Latin America expect to see the gifts the Three Kings will bring to them, much like children in the United States receive presents from Santa Claus on Dec. 25.
“This is one of those traditions that give you something to hold on to,” Santos said. “As a bakery, our contribution is to keep the tradition going.”

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