Three Kings’ Day, also known as El Dia de los Reyes Magos, is a traditional Latin American/Spanish celebration of the day that the Three Kings arrived in Bethlehem at the scene of the Nativity. It is celebrated on January 6, or the 12th day of Christmas (the day of the Epiphany). In many cultures, gifts were traditionally exchanged on this day rather than on Christmas. Now, although most families have shifted gift-giving to Christmas Day, Three Kings’ Day is still celebrated with parties, parades, and a famous cake (Rosca de Reyes).
Three Kings’ Day Celebrations (January 6)
The City of Huntington Park has hosted a traditional Three Kings Procession for the past 14 years. The event starts with a religious procession with the Three Kings on horse, camel, and elephant, starting on Florence Avenue and Pacific and ending at Pacific Blvd. and Randolph Avenue. The procession ends at a nativity site with actors dressed as the traditional religious figures. The event also features a children’s fair and live entertainment.
Time: 2:00 PM festival; 7:00 PM procession
Historic Olvera Street will mark the celebration of the Epiphany of the Magi (visit of the Three Kings) with music and a colorful theatrical procession on Olvera Street. Known as the birthplace of Los Angeles, Olvera Street features 27 historic buildings built in a traditional Mexican style, handcrafted Mexican wares typical of old Mexico, and cafes and restaurants serving up traditional Mexican cuisine.
Time: 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM
For the first time, the holiday season at Disneyland Resort will be extended to celebrate Three Kings Day. From Jan. 6-8, 2012, the theme park will be offering special décor and entertainment in Frontierland that showcases western and Mexican heritage, along with food and childrens’ activities themed to the holiday.
Time: All day
Cost: Free with park admission
Where to Get Rosca de Reyes
Rosca de Reyes, a ring-shaped cake served on Three Kings’ Day, comes with a secret. Baked into each rosca is a tiny plastic baby Jesus (be careful when you get your slice not to eat it!). Tradition dictates that the person who receives the baby Jesus in his or her slice must throw a party on February 2 (Candlemas Day, or Dia de la Candelaria) and serve tamales to the guests. Where can you find a Three Kings’ Day cake in Los Angeles? Here are a few bakeries famous for their roscas:
5700 E. Whittier Blvd
Commerce, CA 90022
1300 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403