Meaning of Rosca de Reyes

What is Rosca de Reyes:

The rosca de Reyes or roscón de Reyes is a sweet bread or bun with a circular shape, decorated with candied fruits or dried fruits and sugar, which has a small plastic figure hidden inside it representing the Child Jesus.

The rosca de Reyes is customary to serve and share as a family every January 6, Three Kings Day, as part of the last December religious holiday. Hence, it symbolizes the epiphany of when the Magi managed to get and meet the Child Jesus, guided by the Star of Bethlehem.

However, in its beginnings the Catholic Church branded this tradition as pagan but, beyond that, the tradition was maintained and expanded in several countries in which it remains until now.

The origin of the rosca de Reyes dates back to the fourteenth century in France, where people used to choose a king, allegorically, to celebrate Kings Day.

Therefore, it was customary to make a sweet loaf of circular or thread shape, in which a dry bean was placed inside and, whoever got it in his portion, was named king for that day.

Some time later, this tradition spread to other European countries such as Spain and Portugal and, later, after the processes of conquest of America, it spread to various countries such as, for example, Mexico or Colombia. Hence, in each country there are differences about how to taste and share this thread.

In addition, there are also several varieties of rosca de Reyes, which can contain cream, chocolate, truffle or dulce de leche fillings, among others.

Meaning of the elements of the rosca de Reyes

The rosca de Reyes is characterized by being a sweet with particular characteristics, which is made or bought to share with the family and with other loved ones on Three Kings Day.


The circular shape of the rosca de reyes symbolizes the infinite love that God feels for man and the crowns that the Magi wore when they traveled from the East to meet Jesus in the manger.

Decorative sweets

Decorative sweets are usually colored crystallized or candied fruits that can be accompanied by nuts and powdered sugar. These represent both the jewels of the crowns of the Magi and the insignificant elements that must be removed from our lives to find God.

Plastic doll

When this tradition began in the Middle Ages, a dry bean was embedded inside the thread, generally in humble homes, before being placed in the oven. Later, as this tradition expanded, a small ceramic doll representing the Child Jesus was placed.

Currently, the doll is still placed inside the thread, however, it is now made of plastic and, in some cases, more than one is placed if the thread is large.

Distribution of the rosca de Reyes

The way in which the portions of the rosca de Reyes are minced and distributed varies according to the country. In this case, the knife represents the danger that the Child Jesus faced from being found by Herod's army.

However, in general, it is usually a family moment in which a lucky person manages to get the doll of the thread between his portion of candy.

Tags:  Expressions-In-English Science General