KERMAN, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Every January 6th several Latino homes celebrate the Three Kings Day.

In Mexico and Mexican homes in the Central Valley, some families get together to exchange presents (because the Three Kings bring them). Other households have a nice dinner and share a “Rosca de Reyes” to celebrate the visit of Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, the three kings to baby Jesus.

According to Víctor Callejas, who is the owner of Callejas Cakes and also an expert in making Roscas de Reyes, the Rosca is a round bread made to celebrate baby Jesus’ birth. This tradition was introduced by the European culture and is related to the Catholic religion that was brought by the Spanish colonizers to México.

It is a reason to get together and have a good time between family members or friends.

“For us, Hispanic people keeping the family together is very important, and we use any celebrations to share and have a good time,” said Callejas.

What is a “Rosca de Reyes”?

La Rosca is a sweet bread with dried fruit and different flavors like orange or anise that has a little surprise; several plastic figures of baby Jesus within the bread.

Whoever gets a piece of the bread with the baby Jesus figure will have to cook tamales or throw a party for el Día de la Candelaria (Candlemas day) which takes place on Feb. 2. It commemorates the day of the purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the day she brought baby Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem.

Callejas says the process of baking this special bread starts in the early morning, sometimes as early as 3:00 a.m. This is due to the high demand for both bakeries in Fresno and Kerman.

Some Roscas can have between three and five baby Jesus plastic figures, but for special orders, they can add more.

Happy Three Kings Day! or ¡Feliz día de los reyes magos! Hopefully you dont have to make the tamales.