Sunday, January 06, 2008

Max and the Baby Jesus

Well, here we are, atheists adrift in Christian-landia, for it is Three Kings Day, the day of the Epiphany. I should begin, though, by saying that this year was my first experience of this holiday traditions, and I loved it.

All over Mexico, people are baking and sharing the Rosca de Reyes, which is a round, sweet bread with candied fruits, sort of like fruitcake. There are little plastic baby Jesus dolls inside the cake, representing the need for the baby Jesus to be hidden to be protected.

Each guest slices into the cake and examines his or her piece to see if the baby Jesus is inside. Well, there we were at our neighbor's store and, wouldn't you know it, Max scored the baby Jesus. He paraded through the street holding the tiny, eerily white baby over his head. Receiving it means good luck for the year!

Receiving the baby also means that Max is the money behind a party he must organize on February 2nd. The Feast of the Candelaria requires Max hosting a tamale party and putting up the funds to purchase tamales for everyone who was present at the cake-slicing.

By afternoon today, the zocalo was jumping with Three Kings chaos. Blocks in four directions were closed and filled with market stalls. I saw many many wonderful things, such as wrestler dolls in a wrestling ring; Pink Panther patches; three tostadas for a dollar; light-up roller skates; and Powerpuff Girl socks (purchased!).

There were calenda processions in the zocalo and, to Max's delight, cascarones-smashing. Max loves buying these eggs filled with confetti and then cracking them on our heads. I have to admit, the day felt...lucky.


lona_mom said...

Feliz Ano Nuevo... so glad to see you're all getting settled! Love the blog and love your topics! Check out my new neighborhood blog at when you get a chance. Adios!

Serena said...

Thanks for the comment! You've got an excellent neighborhood blog going. Take care, Serena

Miguel said...

Hi Serena,
I've really enjoyed your blog- thanks for sharing! I will be moving to Oaxaca in August and am thinking Colegio Teizcali might be the right place for my kids, Inoa (6) and Caio (3). I can't find the school's website... do they have one? I'd be grateful for any info you could give me about the school, or about others. Thanks so much. I hope we can meet once I'm there. - Nina

Clara said...

Hi Serena - I'm sorry I missed your carnival. Jan 13th came and went and I was in CA and offline. I'm honored that you asked. And I LOVED your post about Max and the baby Jesus!

Serena said...

No worries, Clara! I hope you had a fabulous time in California.