Because I left Mexico when I was 6, my recollections of our holiday traditions are often dreamlike and vague.
But my memory of Three Kings Day, or el Dia de los Reyes Magos, remains vivid because it came right after Christmas, in the first week of January, and it meant there was still one more day of presents left.
In Mexico, there is no busier time on the social calendar than the end of the year, beginning Dec. 12, the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Then, there are nine days of parties starting Dec. 16 to celebrate Las Posadas, leading up to a big family dinner on Christmas Eve, followed by New Year’s and finally, the Feast of the Epiphany on Jan. 6, when the three wise men were said to have offered their gifts to the baby Jesus.
On Three Kings Day, we would stuff ourselves with enchiladas verdes, tamales, rosca de reyes, or kings cake, and a frothy cup of Mexican hot chocolate at the famous Cafe de Tacuba in downtown Mexico City. The cafe was founded in 1912, in a magnificent 17th century home probably once owned by a viceroy and was where artists, politicians and movie stars would gather.
Today’s scene is less glamorous, given that downtown Mexico City’s historic core has seen better days. However, Cafe de Tacuba is still a national landmark. It is a prerequisite for visitors to the capital and a place where the food is tradition