Billy and I returned to La Casa Roja after a much needed trip to the United States to see family and friends. Our flight home was eventful as the plane was unable to take off because it was too heavy according to new regulations. Maybe our 200 pounds of luggage and gluttonous eating on the trip had something to do with that, haha. They waited an hour and a half for 7 people to volunteer to get off of the plane. Needless to say no one volunteered, and their next tactic was to remove the last 7 passengers who boarded (ahem, Katelyn and Billy.) Luckily they discovered the whole delay was just a glitch in the system, and the plane was not, in fact, overweight. Yay for not getting kicked off of our flight
After an exhausting day of traveling, we were happy to be home with the dogs. That night, we were invited to a party by our friends Rosa and Lillian to celebrate “King’s Day” which commemorates the arrival of the three wise men. I like to write about things that happen here that my readers aren’t familiar with, and this is the perfect example. The celebration of Epiphany takes place 12 days after Christmas on January 6th. During this celebration, people share Rosca de Reyes which is very similar to our beloved king cake! The tradition in Mexico is that you buy/make the Rosca de Reyes (king cake) and share it with friends and family. Each person cuts a big piece of the cake until the entire cake is distributed.
Like the king cake, Rosca de Reyes has baby/doll figurines representative of baby Jesus hidden in the cake. The cake that we had was so big in size that instead of 1 baby, it had 5. I was told that it is common for there to be more than one doll in each cake to help people to share costs. While each person cuts their piece, we chanted “Tamales!” The people who get the dolls are responsible for providing tamales for a celebration on February 2nd which is Candlemas Day.
The cake itself is also a little different from our king cake. Although it is shaped in an oval ring, Rosca de Reyes is not as sweet as our king cake. It is more of a sweet bread with figs and other dehydrated fruits decorating it. It also had sections covered in a mixture of copious amounts of butter and sugar. Rosa and friends were nice enough to make Chocolate Abuelita, a brand of hot chocolate that is cooked on the stove. We customarily dipped our Rosca de Reyes in our hot chocolate and mmmm was that good! So that’s how we ended our first night back in Carmen, surrounded by friends, wearing shorts and flip flops in January, drinking hot chocolate in 85 degree weather, and experiencing a new cultural tradition. I’d say that’s a good night!