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Rosca de Reyes

Definition of Rosca de Reyes

The Rosca or Roscón de Reyes is a typical dessert consisting of an oval-shaped sweet bread decorated with candied fruit and sugar, which is prepared and served on January 6, Three Kings Day, as part of an ancient tradition.


The Rosca de Reyes is a tradition that originated in the 15th century in France and Spain, from where it later moved to several countries in the Americas, such as Mexico and Colombia.

According to tradition, every January 6, a king was symbolically chosen to commemorate the arrival of the Three Kings. For this purpose, a circular sweet bread was prepared, containing a dried bean inside.

When the bread was distributed among the members of the family, whoever got the dry bean inside his portion was named king for a day.

Later the piece of dried bean was replaced by a small ceramic figure in the shape of a child, symbolizing the baby Jesus.


The oval shape of the rosca represents for Christians the infinite love of God towards men, as well as the crowns of the wise men.

The candied fruits that decorate the cake, generally orange, cherry and lemon, signify the jewels that adorned the crowns of the kings.

The small ceramic figure representing the baby Jesus has been replaced in modern times by a plastic one.

There are several varieties of rosca de Reyes, which can contain various types of fillings, such as cream, chocolate, truffles or dulce de leche, among others.

In its beginnings, this tradition was considered pagan by the Catholic Church, but was later accepted due to its popularity.