Rosca de reyes marks a Christmas tradition

KDBC
Monday, January 6, 2014 - 12:24am

A local bakery in central El Paso says rosca de reyes will be its top selling pastry Monday.
It marks the 12th day of Christmas for many El Paso homes. To prepare, people were out today buying a delicious rosca de reyes.

For Catholics, Christmas celebrations aren't over.

"The holidays roll over even into the new year,” said Sal Gomez from northeast El Paso. “Because we are also celebrating the arrival of the three wise men."

Monday is the Epiphany, a religious holiday marking the visit to baby Jesus by the three kings.

To celebrate, people eat a colorful and sweet ring pastry called rosca de reyes, or translated into English, king's cake.

Bakers usually hide a baby doll in the pastry, and getting it is considered a blessing, and it also means a party.

"The family gathers around and everyone gets a piece,” said Cynthia Martinez from central El Paso. “Whoever gets the little monito would buy tamales for the whole family."

It's a tradition Hispanic Catholics have done for years.

"The tradition of the rosca is very old, we do it every January," said Cristina Rojas, a baker at Bowie Bakery in central El Paso.

They have been making roscas since 1951, and every year they make more and more.

"I think this year will be better than last year, so we prepared with much anticipation,” she said. “So that way we don't get a lot of people at the same time and it's also for our customers satisfaction."

And everyone celebrates a little differently. For some it’s about their religion.

"It’s a tradition. Everything is about the meaning of god," said Maria Espinoza.

For others it's about their family.

"Now we don't really do the tamales, it's just mainly we gather. We kind of have a good time. Whoever gets the monito, we have a good laugh,” said Martinez.

And some do it for a good time.

"It’s just a fun thing to do. Nothing serious. It's all in fun," said Gomez.

But no matter why you have a rosca de reyes, everyone agrees this tradition is something that will always be with them.
Bowie Bakery, 901 Park St., opens tomorrow at 6 a.m. They're expecting a crowd, so they say get there early. 

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