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Dispatches From Mexico City: Who’s Buying The Tamales?

Author: Channel E2E blogger and resident musician Ty Trumbull

Well, I guess I have to buy some tamales.

That’s because I forgot about the final part of the Christmas tradition here in Mexico. On January 6, people gather with their families to celebrate Día de los Tres Reyes Magos (or more colloquially, Día de los Reyes) — the Day of the Three Kings. For many families here it’s a bigger deal than December 25 and, while Children can expect presents on both days, it’s the latter that carries the bigger significance.

But for me and many of my friends, our families are hundreds of miles away. So we gathered at an apartment to celebrate our own version of the holiday. And while our celebration may have looked pretty foreign to anyone who’s been celebrating it their whole life, it maintained one traditional aspect that would be instantly familiar: La rosca de reyes (king’s ring).

La rosca de reyes is a sweet, circular bread covered in green and red dried fruit. Hidden inside are a number of plastic Jesus figurines. The tradition – at least here in Mexico – is that whoever cuts a slice containing a figurine has to buy tamales and host a party for everyone on February 2. Luckily for me, there is always more than one figure, so the cost of the party can be split.

There will be a lot of mouths to feed, and from all around the globe. Amongst those assembled at the party were Canadians, Mexicans, folks from across the United States, Brazilians, Scandinavians, Irish, and Germans. It was a welcome environment amidst a global climate of divisiveness and hateful rhetoric. At any rate, it was a nice way to cap off the holiday season and a fun way to schedule the next gathering.


Ty Trumbull, from his base in Mexico City, covers the entrepreneur’s journey and business continuity for ChannelE2E. Each Tuesday or so, he offers views about his adopted hometown — his personal Dispatches from Mexico City. Oh, but sometimes he pops up in his home nation of Canada.

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