Día de Los Reyes, also known as Three Kings Day, is a famous holiday celebrated in Mexico and Latin America. It occurs every year on January 6th, and families usually have a gathering of extended family to share a special dinner, which is often topped off with King’s Bread for dessert. Children sometimes make crowns to wear at the table in honor of the Three Wise Men.
Día de Los Reyes also goes by the Feast of the Epiphany. This date is often considered as a consolidation of the Christmas season.
What Happens on Día de Los Reyes
Despite the fact that Christmas is over, it does not mean gift-giving (and receiving) has to stop. Children in Latin America and Spain receive the bulk of their presents on Día de Los Reyes rather than at Christmas.
A tradition that is commonly held involves kids lining up their old shoes on a string to represent the Three Kings on Christmas Eve. The children’s shoes are then filled with toys and presents from the Three Kings in the morning.
Many cultures observe Día de Los Reyes in their own distinctive ways, and here are five alternatives for celebrating these customs at home.
How Día de Los Reyes is Celebrated
In Mexico, families typically celebrate Día de Los Reyes by eating festive Mexican food, attending church services, and exchanging gifts. Children often receive presents from the three wise men, who they believe visited Jesus shortly after he was born.
Here is a creative idea for children and families to enjoy on this festive day:
You will need a shoebox or a basket made from a shoebox to put your items in. The basket is usually adorned with wax paper bows. Then, on La Vispera de Reyes (Three Kings’ Day Eve), have your kids gather some grass from your yard and put it in the basket. The grass is for the kings’ camels, who will pull Santa’s sleigh.
The basket goes under the bed (or next to it if it doesn’t fit). After your child is sleeping, replace the grass with candy in the middle of the night. Place a gift next to the basket.
The next morning, your child will be excited to find the gift and candy that the Three Kings left behind!
Mexican Christmas Dishes
Some of the Mexican Christmas dishes commonly enjoyed during Christmas are:
Tamales – A corn husk wrapped around a filling of pork, chicken, or cheese. The tamales are then steamed until cooked. This is also a traditional Mexican food eaten on Día de Los Reyes.
Pozole is a soup or stew made with hominy corn, pork, chicken, or beef. The pozole can be served either as a soup or a stew. It is also common to serve it with shredded lettuce, diced onion, chopped radishes, avocado slices, and lime wedges on the side.
Enchiladas – Corn tortillas filled with meat (usually chicken), rolled up, and covered in chili sauce.
Chiles en Nogada – Poblano peppers stuffed with picadillo (a mixture of ground beef, pork, diced fruit, and spices) and covered in a walnut cream sauce. This dish is also usually served during the Independence Day celebrations in Mexico.
Three other popular Mexican Christmas dishes are:
Bacalao – Codfish that has been salted and dried. This traditional Mexican food is usually cooked in a tomato-based sauce.
Pescado Frito – Fried fish covered in a batter made from flour, eggs, and water.
Pasteles de Navidad – Christmas pastries made with pumpkin or sweet potato filling. They are often coated with cinnamon sugar or syrup before being served.
One popular way to celebrate Día de Los Reyes is by eating Rosca de Reyes (King’s Cake). This cake is iced and decorated with candied fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips. A small figurine of the Baby Jesus is hidden inside the cake. It’s a known custom that whoever finds the figurine must host the next party or celebration.
Festive Mexican Food
The below dishes are considered festive Mexican dishes, and although also enjoyed on Día de Los Reyes, these meals can be added to any festive occasion:
Flautas – This Mexican food is made of corn tortillas filled with chicken or beef and rolled up. The corn tortillas are then deep-fried to perfection and served sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.
Pico de Gallo – This classic Mexican dish comprises chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice. It’s the perfect accompaniment to any Mexican meal!
Churros – Another traditional festive Mexican food is Churros. This is a popular dessert in Mexico made from deep-fried dough and then rolled in sugar and cinnamon. They are served with a chocolate dipping sauce.
Enjoy Traditional Mexican Food At Benito’s Restaurant
When it comes to different cuisines, there’s nothing quite like fresh, authentic, traditional Mexican food. At Benito’s, we bring you a traditional Mexican feel and we aim to make the festive event you’re celebrating come to life. Our menu comprises a wide range of Mexican dishes made with love. Book now to enjoy the best Mexican dishes at Benito’s Restaurant.