Dia de Los Reyes

Nowadays a lot of the children here in Tenerife seem to receive some gifts from Father Christmas or Papa Noel as well as in the more traditional way in the early hours on 6th January, the day known as Dia de Los Reyes or 3 Kings Day.  This is the day, of course, when the 3 Kings arrived with gifts for the baby Jesus.

Los Reyes, Los Cristianos, Tenerife 2010On the eve 5th January, children dress in their finest clothes and line the streets with their families to welcome the 3 Kings who ride through the streets on their camels following a procession of dancers and entertainers.  You might have to duck a few times to avoid the handfuls of sweets that are thrown into the crowds!

At the end of the parade, the children wait to pass their letters to the 3 kings, just as a child would pass a letter to Father Christmas in the UK.  Their little faces lighting up hoping that the 3 kings will leave their presents that night.3 Kings in Los Cristianos, Tenerife 2010

When the children get home, they leave shoes outside of their house filled with carrots and hay for the camels.  The next morning they are all excited to see the gifts that the 3 Kings have left for them!

Did the 3 Kings visit your house last night?

Another part of the evening is the purchase of a 3 Kings Cake – Rosca de Reyes this is a ring-shaped pastry (tasting similar to hot-cross-bun mixture), covered in sugar and fruit flavoured jellies.

Traditional Cake for the Three Kings in TenerifeBeware when you bite into it though as often hidden inside is 1 bean and 1 small figure of baby Jesus.  The person that gets the bean has to pay for the following year’s cake.  The person who gets baby Jesus has good luck for the coming year!

I believe there are a few variations of what you can find in one of these delicious cakes.  What did you find in yours?

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