El dia de la Candelaria – Feb 2

Last Sunday night, while most were enjoying nachos and chicken wings, we were partaking in a different type of celebration, one that involved tamales and hot chocolate… ‘El día de la Candelaria.’

rosca de @latamalera

It all starts on January 6th with la Rosca de Reyes (a sweet oval shaped bread flavored with orange blossom, and typically decorated with dried fruit to symbolize a crown’s jewels). Similar to la Galette de rois here in Quebec, this ‘King’s cake’ hides a little trinket, and – in Mexican tradition- whoever gets this trinket will host the dinner of El día de la Candelaria celebrated on February 2nd. The dinner consists of tamales, both sweet and savoury {mole, verdes, rojos, rajas con queso} and atole or hot chocolate.

Having religious origins { Fiesta de presentacion, Virgen de la Candelaria} this celebration dates back to pre-hispanic times, when native civilizations would offer corn to their gods in hope of being rewarded with good weather in the coming agricultural cycle. This offering would take place on the 11th day of the ancient Aztec calendar which coincides with February 2nd. Hence why we eat tamales and atole during this festivity!

tamal rojo

Like many traditions, this fusion of catholic and native celebrations is now ingrained in Mexican culture and has become a part of our identity. Hope you enjoy this little bit on food traditions.

Thanks to my sister for hosting and @latamalera for the yummy tamales

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