The pagan origin of the “Roscón de Reyes”

The well-known “roscón de Reyes” (ring of the kings) is not a contemporary food by a long shot. Its origin, moreover, is pagan. We have to go back to the time of the Roman Empire.

“Roscón de reyes” is another Roman invention. El Español

The Romans celebrated festivities known as Saturnalia between 17 and 23 December of the Roman calendar in honour of the god Saturn. During these festivals, people from all social positions had access to sumptuous banquets, endless fun and also to excesses of all kinds. There were also changes of roles, in which nobles became slaves and vice versa.

Saturnals were held between 17 and 23 December [Saturnalia]. Ernesto Biatto-Wikipedia

In this context appears the roscón: a circular cake in whose interior a bean was hidden. The fortunate one who found it became the “king of the feast” and all the assistants had to obey his/her orders. 

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