Spanish celebrate Three Kings Day with jubilation and a special cake.

Today, January 6, marks the celebration of Epiphany also known as Three Kings Day, Little Christmas or Twelfth Night. The holiday derived from the biblical story about three kings who followed a bright star to Bethlehem where they discovered the birth of Christ. The historical visit resulted in the custom of gifting at Christmas in conjunction with the Feast of the Epiphany.

I appreciate the Epiphany celebration in Spain, where the natives solemnly observe religion on Christmas Day and then prepare for Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day) on January 6 where they exchange gifts and host festive parties. The celebration includes baking a Three King’s Cake.

I don’t particularly like the cake as it reminds me of fruit cake complete with raisins, dried fruit and nuts. However, I appreciate the tradition of placing a hidden symbol of the Christ child. It’s not uncommon for bakers to place a whole almond, a baby figurine or a small crown in the cake. Whichever guest receives the slice of cake with the symbol is said to be specially blessed in the new year.