Category Archives: Events

June 6th election

Elections are nothing new. Records show they were present in ancient Greece and Rome. The process was an essential part of various cultures throughout the world and evolved with time. Choosing who will represent the interest of the inhabitants of a country is the right of most citizens across the globe. 

Here in Mexico, this Sunday, June 6th, more than 93 million Mexicans will execute their right to vote. For the first time in history, this impressive number of Mexican citizens will decide the 500 seats occupying the Chamber of Deputies and other 20 thousand positions at the local level. Because of the electoral reform in 2014, this June 6th, federal and regional elections coincide. Even though Mexicans are not electing a new president, this election outcome will be crucial for the second term of the Mexican leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. 

What charges are being elected?

The most relevant part of this election will be the total renew of the Chamber of Deputies by choosing 500 new deputies, 300 of them selected by citizens votes, and the remaining 200 in a proportional representation process. This last aims to give representation to political minorities. Deputies serve three-year terms starting September 1st in the year of the election. Also, the election process in an effort for equality guarantees that at least 50% of the candidates for federal deputies will be women. 

Mexicans will also elect 15 governors and their congress out of its 32 federal entities. With their vote will renew 30 assemblies, choosing 1,063 deputies.  About 1,923 mayors and council officers will be selected too. All together, making a total of 20,000 positions elected by popular vote. 

Instituto Nacional Electoral (INE)

The National Electoral Institute (INE) is in charge of organizing and regulating the election process in Mexico. This organism was formally established on October 11, 1990, and since it is an essential pillar supporting the Mexican democratic system. The INE headquarters are located in Mexico City. It also counts with 32 delegations (federal entities) and 300 subdelegations (one on each electoral district).  

This June 6th, the INE will install 162,000 vote centers and implement COVID 19 safety protocols such as:

  • Mandatory use of facemasks. 
  • Social distancing (6 feet apart).
  • Use of antibacterial gel.
  • Disinfecting all areas frequently. 

All of this to ensure the safety of the voters during the election process. They plan to gather the results two days after the election. 

The main goal of the Instituto Nacional Electoral is to deliver an electoral procedure that is fair and trustworthy to secure the political-electoral rights of Mexican citizens, contributing this way to the Mexican democracy. 

Puerto Vallarta Gay Pride

The paradisiac city of Puerto Vallarta will add rainbow colors to its tropical scenery this upcoming week to celebrate Gay Pride. The luscious variety found in Vallarta does not only include flora and fauna, but it also extends to its inhabitants.  Puerto Vallarta holds a mixture of people from all walks of life, ethnicity, nationalities, economic status as well as sexual preference. Nowadays, the LGTBQ+ community also gets support from the local government. This year you can observe the rainbow flag at City Hall. 

Puerto Vallarta has seen the LGTBQ+ community settle down on their beaches since the 80s becoming in 2017 the first city in Mexico given the Gay Travel Approved. A year earlier, the Zona Romantica received the award for the Gayhood of the Year. Every month of May since 2013, Puerto Vallarta celebrates Gay Pride offering a wide arrange of events for the occasion.

This year due to the restriction to host massive events, Gay Pride is spread out in events ranging from Bear Party Bus, camping,  LGBTQ+ film festivals, theatre to private beach parties.  

Events start from May 24 to May 31. They are hosted by SETAC, a nonprofit organization focusing on offering comprehensive and integrated health services for LGBTQ+ community, Pink and Proud, Beardise, Act2PV, and many more. 

Monday, May 24th 

  • Wings for the LGTBQ+. Opening ceremony of Nuestro Orgullo (Our Pride) at Los Muertos pier at 10:00 am. Music will be perform by Alas de Canto ( singing wings) School, where the gay flag will be raised. 
  • You can enjoy Steven Retches sensual dancing and live vocals at his show “Stevie Hart” at Act2PV, 9:30 pm.

Tuesday, May 25th 

  • Rustic Campament. An excellent opportunity to spend time with the LGTBQ+ community while surrounded by nature. This will take place at Rancho mi Buelo. 
  • Mama Tits show at ACT2PV at 9:30 pm 

Wednesday, May 26th 

  • Cocktail Party for women only at Elixir mixology bar by Pink and Proud.
  • Chemex. Talk about the risk of certain drugs known in the community.
  • Pink Dinner – Pride Kick-Off, honoring drag sensation Shangela at Te Top @ Almar, 7:30 pm.
  • Pink Dinner After Party, with Bianca del Rio, Shangela, Effie Passero at the new One Six One bar at 10:00 pm. 

Thursday, May 27th

  • Bingo with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, full of laughter and prizes and maybe some spanking, at Hamburger Mary’s Puerto Vallarta, 4:00 pm.
  • Womxn-Only Secret Dinner Party organized by Pink and Proud in a secret location, 6:30 pm.
  • A night for LGTBQ+ Short Films at Biblioteca Los Mangos, 8:00 pm
  • Hedda Lettuce with an exceptional pride performance of “Tossed Salad 2” at Act2PV, 9:30 pm.
  • A  jockstrap competition comes to Industry Night Club & Wet Dreams present: Strapped night, Best buns contest. May the hottest buns win! 7:00pm 
  • Gala México Queer, enjoy an evening of traditional Mexican folklore with the talented singer Diamante Negro (Alex Cueva) at Casa Cupula, 8:00pm. 
  • House Nation Party – Vallarta Pride at One Six One, 8 pm.
  • Bear Party Bus, the kickoff of Bearpride, Ride a double-decker bus through Vallarta while sipping cocktails and dancing to DJ Matt Consola frisky tunes, 10:00 pm.

Friday, May 28th 

  • Bears get together at Frisky Friday, come and savor a zesty margarita at Casa Cupula pool while dancing to local and international DJs and live performances and Gogo bears from 2 pm to 10 pm. Remember, clothing is optional. 
  • Come by the Health Fair for the LGTBQ+ community host by SETAC at the Lazaro Cardenas Park, also known for its beautiful tile work by local artist Natasha Moraga, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm.
  • Conyuges Documentary Film Event, learn about the first three gay couples from Jalisco who legally married in the federal district in 2010, at Blue Chairs, 5:30 pm.
  • Fireflies Night/ Honoring Life, an outdoor celebration with Mariachi bands, candles, and fire dancers at Amaria Villas from 8pm to 2am.
  • Womxn-Only Pool & Sunset Villa Party. Spend a great evening in this spectacular villa located only 20 minutes from downtown Vallarta. Chill at the pool with live DJ music, engage in a raicilla tasting or take a mixology class. Amaria Villa, from 2 pm to 12 am.
  • Laugh the evening away with Karma La Perra at her show, “Keeping Up with Karma,” from belly dancing to incredible costumes at Act2PV, 9:30 pm.

Saturday, May 29th 

  • Join yoga teacher Victor Rodriguez at Yoga En Comunidad. Come to Oscar’s lavish garden in front of the Cuale River and ocean for a yoga practice that will engage your body, mind, and spirit, bringing you closer to the community, 9:00 am.
  • Casa Cupula host Exhibitionist Party, for all bears and friends. Dance to talented national and international DJs while chilling at the pool. Get delighted with the international start Rocco Steel performance and Gogo Bears, from 2 pm to 10 pm.   
  • Beach Party with an exceptional performance of Crystal Waters at Mantamar Beach Club Beach, 7:00 pm.
  • Assist a pyramid scheme conference by “Dragtor” Aurora L. Vallarta where she will present her newest product line, “Mexican Jill Pawer” created to achieve a “healthier sexuality”. This cabaret show will entertain you from beginning to end. Don’t forget to bring some friends, you may reach diamond member status!. Act2PV, 8:00 pm.

Sunday, May 30th 

  • Get a side of fun with your eggs at Hotel Mercurio Drag Brunch, from 10 am to 2 pm. After brunch, stay for Beers, Boys and Burgers’ relaunching, 4 pm to 7:00 pm.
  • Make it to the Beach T-Dance at Mantamar Beach Club Beach, it will be a surprise performance, and fireworks start at 3:00 pm.
  • What a better way to end up Gay Pride celebrations than at a party in the exclusive and private Bearadise Beach? Come to La Fiesta Cachonada from 2 pm to 10 pm. Boats will be waiting at Los Muertos pier at 2 pm. 
  • Womxn-Only Closing Cocktail Party, at Elixir Mixology Bar, from 7:00 pm until late. 
  • Red Dress Party: United against HIV. Dress in red to create awareness about HIV. It can be a dress or a swimsuit, your choice. Amaria Villa, 8:00 pm to 2:00 am. 

Monday, May 31st

  • “Donation Day” with Krispy Kreme. Support the LGTBQ+ community at the Krispy Kreme bake sale to collect money for organizations like DOW, AC, Santa Barbara Rehab Clinic, San Juan Shelter, and SETAC, which work help those in need. SETAC Versalles, from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
  • Closing Event: “Supermana, Help Me”, renowned performer and activist “La Supermana” will offer a politically incorrect conference on how to be happy even if you don’t want to, at The Palm, 6pm.  

You have plenty of options where to choose from this Vallarta Gay Pride. Enjoy and be safe!

Día del niño, April 30 th

After mother’s and father’s day, the Dia del Niño (Children’s Day) is one of the most celebrated holidays in Mexico. The focus of this day is to create awareness among parents, teachers, the government, and all members of society about the importance of protecting children and providing a safe and optimal environment for their development.

Día del Niño 2015

Origin of Children’s Day 

Although the Dia del Niño is meant to be a joyful celebration for the little ones, unfortunately, its origins are not a pleasant matter. 

When World War I was over, in 1919, and the devastation caused sat in, the British activist Eglantyne Jebb became aware of the incredible toll the war had taken among the smallest and defenseless members of society, the children.  The streets of Vienna were full of parentless offspring struggling to survive. Those children were unprotected, hungry, and left to their own with no help. 

Naturally, the devastation left after the war sunk into everyone’s reality. However, Miss Jebb saw it as her duty to protect those children that needed so much and had nothing.  She went out of her way to found collaborators to help her better life conditions for war orphans. This way, in 1920, with the Red Cross’s help, she founded an organization called Save the Children, dedicated to child development. 

In 1923, Eglantyne Jebb drafted the first Declaration of the Rights of the Child, also knowns as the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the League of Nations in 1924. Later, this declaration was adopted and extended by the back then newly created United Nations, and they established it on November 20th, 1959, World Children’s Day. 

Children’s Day in Mexico 

Children’s Day is celebrated in Mexico since 1924 when the then Alvaro Obregon government accepted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child implemented by the League of Nations. However, the government decided to celebrate it on April 30th because of the major holiday on November 20, marking the Mexican revolution anniversary. It made more sense to move Children’s day to the last day in April to be together with May 1st (Labor Day) and May 5th (Puebla’s battle). 

Children’s Day Celebrations

Photo by Andrew Ukrain on Pexels.com

Typically, Children’s Day in Mexico is celebrated with various events like dancing, puppetry and magic shows, games, and many other fun activities for children as well as adults. However, this year is different, and probably the best way to celebrate children is to spend quality time with them doing creative activities they enjoy the most. 

Besides buying gifts for your children, you can take this opportunity to get creative and come up with fun things to do. Put together a homemade movie theater in the living room where you can together watch your child’s favorite films, don’t forget the popcorn. Pick up something yummy that you can cook together, record it to see the fun mess it was.  Dress up and pose as a live model for your child to create a masterpiece. Built a boat or a kite and take it to the park or beach. 

Let the inner child in you come out to celebrate the child in your life!

Easter in Mexico

Undoubtedly Easter is the most crucial celebration of the Christian world. The resurrection of  Jesus Christ marks the beginning of the Christian fate and is celebrated widely. 

Semana santa en la Ciudad de México

Easter happens in Springtime, the time of the year when everything awakens from the long winter slumber, flowers bloom, filling with vibrant colors our scenery. Often the Easter celebration is a time when people like to travel. The well-deserved Easter holiday is marked on the calendar of many.  

Celebrating Easter in Mexico 

You will not find Mexican children eating chocolate bunnies or hunting for eggs in Easter week like in the United States. On the other hand, in Mexico, the Easter celebrations are full of Catholic rituals and symbolism carried over centuries. Catholicism arrived with the Spanish conquistadors in 1531, and it is until today a significant part of the Mexican identity, with about 100 million Mexicans identifying themselves as Catholics. Therefore, if you are traveling to Mexico during this time, you are in for a culturally fascinating experience.  

Mexicans celebrate Easter in a two-week period, where the first week is called Semana Santa (Holy Week) and the second one is Semana de Pascua (Easter Week).

In Mexico, the Holy Week takes off the Friday before Palm Sunday. This day is known as Viernes de Dolores (Friday of Sorrows), where the pain experienced by the Virgin Mary cause the loss of her son is remember. 

Palm Sunday 

Palm Sunday, also known as Domingo de Ramos, marks the official beginning of the Semana Santa in Mexico. This Sunday commemorates when Jesus Christ victoriously entered  Jerusalem riding a donkey. His followers lay palms on the way, representing peace and victory and recognizing Jesus Christ as their Messiah.  

Procesión de palmas el Domingo de Ramos, interior del templo de La Merced, Antigua Guatemala.

On Palm Sunday In Mexico, you will find vendors offering intricate, beautiful palms weaved in various designs outside churches. Also, depending on the city, processions are organized this day. Later on, the devotees gather for mass where the priest will bless the palms, the ones that decorate the church will be used for the Ash Wednesday ritual the following year.  

Maundy Thursday 

Holy Thursday or Jueves Santo is when Mexican Catholics remember Jesus and His disciples’ last supper. Plus, on this Thursday night, traditionally, people visit seven churches.  The idea of this rite is to offer the congregation time to reflect and meditated about Jesus’s life. 

Good Friday 

This day is one of the most crucial celebrations of Semana Santa. On Viernes Santo, no mass is officiated. All sculptures and the cross inside the church are covered with purple mantles. Customarily,  the Catholic church dictates their congregation not to consume meat and fast on this day.

Cuaresma. Templo de Santo Domingo. #Zacatecas

It is popular that on Good Friday, actors portrait the Viacrucis( The Road of the Cross), a Latin word that refers to the journey Jesus experience from the moment He is sentenced to death to the time He dies on the cross. This procession happens all over the country. However, the one in San Luis Potosi is peculiar because none all the participants speak. Therefore it is called Procession of Silence. The Procesion del Silencio was declared cultural heritage in 2013.  

Holy Saturday 

This mourning day, also called Sabado de Gloria, is a time to reflect on the pain Christ endured due to His sacrifice for humanity and the hope of His resurrection.

One controversial Mexican tradition of this day is that people throw buckets of water at each other. Because water is a precious resource not to be waste, this tradition had been stopped, and fines can be given to people practicing this. 

Surprisingly, this tradition of throwing water originated in the Middle Ages when parishioners will not shower during the Holy Week because it was considered a sin. In contrast, on Holy Saturday, they will throw water to each other as a symbol of purifying their souls and washing away their sins.

Easter Sunday 

For Catholics, salvation arrives on Domingo de Pascua when Jesus of Nazareth conquers death. Many attend the Easter mass, and church bells ring. In some parts of Mexico, effigies of Judas are made out of paper and then burn. After the celebration at the church, family and friends will gather in plazas to celebrate.

Easter Sunday marks the beginning of the Semana de Pascua, a time most Mexican families use for traveling. Either they take holidays for one or two weeks. Beaches such as Puerto Vallarta are some of the most popular destinations among nationals. The Easter Holidays here in Puerto Vallarta marks the end of the high season for some.  

Let’s not forget that, like other Mexican traditions, Semana Santa and Semana de Pascua are also the time to savor delicious traditional dishes.  In many places, you will find romeritos (tender sprigs in mole sauce), tortas de camaron (dried shrimp cakes), bacalao a la Vizcaina (Codfish in tangy tomato sauce), chiles Rellenos, capirotada  (French Toast with the Mexican twist).  There are so many more apetizing dishes that you must try this Easter holiday in Mexico. 

Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta

Where to Go Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta

Snorkeling, not only doesn’t require formal training but it’s also a fun activity to share with friends and family. Even if you are not an expert swimmer you can snorkel either wearing a life vest or holding on to a flotation device. Trying snorkeling will get you a first-row seat in a breathtaking underwater world full of colorful life forms. It takes your vacation experience to the next level.

Benefits of Snorkeling 

Snorkeling is not only entertaining but also comes with few health benefits, such as 

  • Improves joint mobility, eases joint pain.
  • Increase vascular health, strengthening the heart muscle. 
  • Enhances breathing by increasing oxygen intake.
  • Relieves stress and anxiety by practicing mouth breathing techniques. 
  • Full workout, you can burn up to 300 calories per hour 

Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta

Snorkeling in Puerto Vallarta will expand your discovery of this beautiful town. Puerto Vallarta offers a variety of places where you can come in contact with its rich marine world. 

With more than 20 locations, found in the area between Los Arcos and Yelapa, you can pick one or more that are interesting for you to explore. Here, snorkelers can visit shallow coves, and come in contact with sea life such as starfish, giant lobsters, needlefish, turtles, eagle rays, and much more. 

Some of the most popular locations for snorkeling are Las Caletas, Los Arcos, Quimixto, Las Islas Marietas, Najahuitas, Pizota, and Colomitos. All of them offer a different experience. Let’s take a closer look into some of them to see what they offer.

Islas Marietas (Marietas Islands)

Snorkeling at Islas Marietas – ecotoursvallarta.com

The Marieta Islands are part of the UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere program to improve the relationship between humans and the environment. Oversee by the Mexican government, they make sure that this paradise continues protected from commercialization. Therefore, you will be able to enjoy untouched views of cliffs, beaches, and wildlife. 

At Marietas Island, three water currents gather,  giving a place for an abundant oceanic life as well as birds. Here you will find manta rays, multicolored fish, dolphins, humpback whales, blue-footed boobies, and sea turtles. 

Situated 20 miles south of Puerto Vallarta, you can either take a one-hour boat ride or drive to Punta de Mita and from there take a shorter boat ride. 

Parque Marino Los Arcos

Puerto Vallarta Los Arcos Small-Group Snorkeling Adventure 2021

Located 12 miles south of Puerto Vallarta in the area called Mismaloya. Los Arcos (that means arches in English) National Marine Park is formed by three rocky islands that have passages, tunnels, and arch formations that shelter a diversity of aquatic life. 

This government-protected marine reserve is very popular for snorkeling, diving, swimming, Stand-Up-Paddle (SUP), Yoga SUP, and kayaking.

Formed by five granite islets, the bigger three are called Roca de Los Arcos, Roca de la Tortuga, and Roca del Diablo. The islets are at the deepest part of the Bahia de Banderas Bay, which depth can range anywhere from 30 to 1600 feet. It counts with underwater caves, deep tunnels, impressive reefs, and arches. Its waters are loaded with specimens such as the pufferfish, octopus, eel, moray eel, parrotfish, cornetfish, lobsters, angelfish, rays, clownfish, stingers, anemones, nudibranchs, and sea turtles. 

Los Arcos National Marine Park is also the home for a diversity of marine birds which choose this place for reproducing. Here you can find the rare blue-footed boobies, sea hawk, some species of parakeets, cormorants, pelicans, and others.

At only 20 minutes away from the center of Puerto Vallarta, reaching Los Arcos is very easy. You just can jump in a local bus and get off in Mismaloya and from there hired a panga (water taxi) to take you. On the other hand, if you are more experienced at snorkeling, it’s also a possibility of hiring a private boat, you would have plenty of options where to choose from.

Pizota 

If you are looking for a tranquil spot to snorkel that is not on the touristic radar Pizota is the place you should go. Most visitors make it as far as Yelapa, which is a charming fishermen town with a lot to offer like restaurants, boutique hotels, and an impressive waterfall. However, it can get crowded, and with a heavy boat-traffic does not have the best conditions for snorkeling. 

Therefore, taking the short trip after Yelapa’s beach to the town of Pizota is worth it.  With very few visitors you will find great snorkeling conditions. 

To reach there you can ask one of the pangas (water taxi) drivers to drop you, just make sure you set a pickup time, so they can bring you back to Yelapa. Another option is to charter a boat to take you to Pizota. 

Before your Snorkeling Trip 

Some things to consider before start packing your snorkeling gear.

  • The best time of year to snorkel with very clear water is during the “shoulder seasons”: from April to June and then from October to December. However, its been reports of “cloudy waters” around the Christmas and New Years’s holidays. 
  • There are stronger water currents during the winter months that can make it difficult to snorkel or swimming.
  • During the rainy season, the rivers flow mud into the ocean which makes the water cloudy decreasing visibility.   
  • Check for a guided snorkeling tour in Puerto Vallarta. 
  • Use biodegradable ocean-friendly sunblock to prevent contamination to the marine life.

Also, remember to be safe and have a fantastic time while snorkeling and visiting beautiful Puerto Vallarta.

Blessing of the fleet

Nuestra Señora de la Paz

You may have seen the christening of a boat. People gathering around the vessel, some words are said and a bottle of champagne gets broken against the boat’s bow. If by chance the bottle does not break is considered a bad omen. 

However, I bet you had never seen a fleet of boats being christened. Well, this year, if you head to Bucerias, you will be a lucky spectator of the  Blessing of the fleet, also known as the blessing of the boats. 

Bucerias 

The neighboring state of Nayarit, also part of the magnificent Banderas Bay, has its share of enchanting beach towns in an area referred to as Riviera Nayarit. One of these charming towns is Bucerias, located between La Cruz de Huanacastle and Nuevo Vallarta. It counts with 18 miles of uninterrupted beach, ideal for surfing, snorkeling, kitesurfing, or just soak in the sun.

Bucerias, which means “place of divers”,  got its name because most of its inhabitants were divers. These divers caught oysters that were abundant in the region. The oysters were mainly sold in Puerto Vallarta or consumed locally. 

Even though it had a small population living in the area, it was only until 1937 that the town of Bucerias was officially registered as an Ejido (land farmed communally under a system supported by the state) by the government. Before this, the town was called Santa Julia de las Tablas because it had a wide variety of wood, that was exported to places like Brasil and Europe. 

Back in those days, the only way to reach Bucerias was by boat from Puerto Vallarta. It only had few dirt roads that were traveled by mule or on foot, crossing mountains, creeks, and hills. These paths were used to get to other towns such as Sayulita, Lo de Marcos, or Compostela. The trip usually took hours and on some occasions even days.  

Our Lady of Peace

Bucerias’ first church, built with adobe and dried palm leaves, at the end of the 1930s stood in the same place where the newer one is today. In the last 60 years, the church is been the place to honor Our Lady of Peace, the patron saint, and protector of the city of Bucerias.

This charming but straightforward church bears detailed ironwork, a large altar with a striking painted backdrop, wooden pews, and kneeling benches. Inside the serene atmosphere creates an ideal space for reflection and contemplation. Worth visiting.

Bucerias January Festivities

Every month of January From the 16th to the 24th, the festivities honoring Our Lady of Peace take place. 

For nine days the town of Bucerias displays a wide arrange of colorful festivities in the name of its patron saint. During the celebration days, every morning at 6:00 am the traditional “Mananitas” (birthday song) is performed by a mariachi. Also, every day, from 8:pm a cultural music festival takes place at the main plaza. 

Throughout these nine celebratory days, a series of religious services, sports activities, art demonstrations, and more cultural events occurred. Everyday picturesque floats cruise the streets of the town, and pilgrimage happens.

The Big Day

On the last day of the celebrations, January 24th the biggest pilgrimage takes place. However, this is no ordinary peregrination. A float of pangas (boats) with local fishermen and their families depart the port located in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. They will carry the Antorcha de la Paz (torch of peace) to Bucerias. Upon arrival, they will take the torch to the Our Lady of Peace church. Then at the church fishermen, divers, merchants, locals, and foreigners gather together to celebrate a mass go ask Our Lady of Peace for a fruitful year with plenty of health and prosperity.   

Every passing year more tourists come to see and participate in this important celebration in the town of Bucerias. However, Bucerias still keeps its essence of an authentic Mexican village attracting Boho souls and art lovers. It is a peaceful escape from the hectic life in big crowded cities. An oasis with so much nature to offer and plenty of tradition to discover.

Don’t wait any longer, travel to Bucerias, and immerse yourself in a pleasant journey. Uncover all that the Bahia de Banderas has to offer.

Three Kings Day in Puerto Vallarta

Rosca de Reyes

In most places, the holiday season seems to be over. Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year came and went. However, Mexico has one more celebration happening on January 6th, and a tasty one, I must add. The Rosca de Reyes happens on a day known as “Three Kings Day” or “Day of the Three Wise Men” or Epiphany. 

Epiphany Day Origins 

This lesser known tradition in the United States is widespread in all Latin American countries and some European nations. According to Western Christianity, the Epiphany, which means revelation, refers to the revelation of God incarnate as Jesus Christ. Celebrated 12 days after Christmas, on January 6th, when the Three Wise Men visited the Christ Child by following the stars. Traditionally, the Three Kings symbolized Europe, Asia, and Africa, and they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh representing those regions. 

The Epiphany celebration comes with a few customs, such as church services, blessing of one’s home, Epiphany singing, winter swimming, and the tastiest one of all, Three Kings Cake or Rosca de Reyes.

First King Cake 

Also known as Three Kings Cake or Twelve Night Cake, this traditional King Cake dates back to 14th century France. It was dry french bread with some sugar on top and a bean inside. The person that got the bean would be treated like a king for the rest of the day. 

Eaten uncommonly, it was a ritual on its own. Customarily, the first slice of cake was for a stranger or a poor individual. In the second place, was the people from the King’s army, and lastly, the rest of the guests got their slice of cake. After a while, this tradition took root in other European countries like Spain, Germany, Portugal, Greece, and later on, in Latin America.

Today, the Rosca de Reyes is made out of sweet dough with dried or candied fruit pieces. You can even find them filled with chocolate or custard. 

Rosca de Reyes Symbolism  

Every element of the Rosca de Reyes or Roscon de Reyes has its meaning. 

The round shape of the Rosca de Reyes represents a crown, like the one worn by the Three Kings Melchoir, Gaspar, and Balthazar when visiting baby Jesus. Others, see the crown shaped cake as an association with the eternal love of God that has no beginning or end.

The candied fruit implies the jewels from the Three Kings’ crowns. To others, it means the obstacles the Three Wise Men endure on their way to meet Christ Child.

The hidden figurines in the cake symbolized when the Virgin Mary and Joseph hid baby Jesus to save him from being killed by King Herodes. 

Mexican Tradition 

Like many other traditions, the Three Kings Day and the Rosca de Reyes arrived in Mexico when the Viceroyalty of New Spain was established in the XVI century by Catholic missionaries.

Presently, Mexican families and friends gather on January 6th to share a delicious piece of Rosca de Reyes with a traditional Mesoamerican beverage, called Atole, a hot drink made out of corn and masa.  

Atole is not only yummy, but it has also been attributed to have nutritional benefits like boosting your immune system, as well as providing nurturing for those experiencing illness or disease.  

The Rosca de Reyes can also be paired with a Champurrado (chocolate flavor Atole) or hot cocoa. 

Additionally, on the night of January 5th, kids leave their shoes next to the Christmas tree waiting for the Three Wise Men to give them presents by dawn, on January 6th. 

The Rosca de Reyes can have anywhere from 4 to 12 little figures of baby Jesus, depending on the size and portions of it. The person who gets a baby Jesus will be in charge of organizing a party and getting the tamales and atole for Dia de la Candelaria (Candlemass) on February 2nd. 

Dia de la Candelaria 

This holiday is an interesting mix between Prehispanic Mexican traditions and the ones brought up from the Spanish conquistadors. 

At the beginning of February, the Mexican Rain God, Tlaloc, was honored, marking the beginning of the agricultural cycle. 

From all crops, corn is considered sacred in the Mexica culture as is the base of the Mexican civilization. Therefore, any offers made out of corn were considered higher than any other. This is why on this day the celebration’s main dish is tamales: corn meal deliciousness in a package.   

When the Spanish conquistadors arrived, they matched this Mexican traditional celebration with the presentation of Jesus at the Temple in Jerusalem, also known as Candlemass. They linked this celebration to the Rosca de Reyes on Epiphany day. 

These days, in some indigenous communities in Mexico, people will take their seeds to the temples to be blessed on Dia de la Candelaria.

Classically, Christmas decorations will stay in the homes up until February 2nd, so no holiday cleaning yet.