Thursday, January 17, 2013

Of Kings and Turtles

January 6th Mexicans celebrate King's Day, or Epiphany according to the liturgical calendar. It is the day that the church commemorates the three (more or less!) wisemen's visit to Jesus. According to tradition, this is when most Mexican children receive gifts (just as the child Jesus received gifts from the magi) rather than on Christmas. Children all over the country write out their wishlist, not for Santa, but for the Reyes Magos. The list, once written, is folded up and attached to the string on a helium balloon, then sent up to the skies so the kings can receive the wishlist and bring children presents on January 6. This year Eliana participated for the first time. It sort of happened by accident, or rather we didn't realize that this was part of the plan -- a very common occurrence for us! We were over at a friend's house enjoying a meal together. After our meal we took part in the Rosca de los Reyes, which is a circular sweet bread decorated with fruit.

Each person cuts a piece for themself. Hidden within the rosca are little dolls meant to represent the baby Jesus. They look something like this:

If you are lucky enough to find one hidden in your slice of bread then you are responsible to bring tamales for all those in the group on February 2nd. On a side note, our family was part of three different get togethers where we partook in the rosca and every time we got a little doll! There are multiple dolls in each rosca, so it's not unusual to find one. :)

After the rosca the children broke open a piƱata, and someone announced that it was now time for all the kids to write their wishlist for the kings! Eliana, of course, joined right in. After she had "written" her list, I asked her what she was asking the kings for. The answer? Turtles! Kevin and I looked at each other in surprise. We hadn't anticipated adding a pet to our family, but when we thought about it this seemed like a very feasible option. Soooooo, long story short Kevin went to an open air market after we got home that night and found two little turtles that now live in a small pink island on our kitchen table! We plan on getting them some more comfortable accommodations, but haven't quite gotten there yet. Below is a picture of the kids right before they sent their balloons off with their wishlists.

And here are the newest members of our family! We had to get two of course so Owen wouldn't be left out. :)

No comments: