San Francisco residents joined Christians around the world in celebrating Three Kings Day on Saturday.

Also known as Epiphany, the holiday is celebrated every Jan. 6 to commemorate when the Magi, or wise men from the East, brought gifts to the infant Jesus.

In many Latin American cultures, a big part of the holiday is eating a rosca de reyes, or Three Kings cake.

La Mejor Bakery in San Francisco’s Mission District advertises its Rosca de Reyes, or Three Kings Cake, on Jan. 6, 2018. (Sonja Hutson/KQED)

At bakeries across San Francisco’s Mission District on Saturday, the display windows were filled with the colorful kings cakes — big, oval shaped cakes with a hole in the middle, topped with candied fruit and strips of pink and yellow sugar paste.

What you can’t see is the figurine of a baby Jesus hidden inside the cake. Tradition holds that whoever ends up with the baby in their slice of cake has to throw a party on Feb. 2.

Louie Gutierrez, who owns La Reyna Bakery with his family, says in the U.S., it’s mostly immigrants who celebrate the holiday.

“They’re the ones that make this day thrive,” Gutierrez said. “Without the immigrant population in the Mission or California in general, Mexican bakeries would be obsolete.”

Gutierrez says when the bakery closes, he and the staff share a rosca de reyes together.

Customers purchase Three Kings Cake at La Reyna Bakery in San Francisco's Mission District on Jan. 6, 2018.
Customers purchase Three Kings Cake at La Reyna Bakery in San Francisco’s Mission District on Jan. 6, 2018. (Sonja Hutson/KQED)
Bakeries Celebrate Three Kings Day in San Francisco’s Mission District 7 January,2018Sonja Hutson

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Sonja Hutson

Sonja Hutson is an On-Call Reporter for KQED News. She reports on a variety of topics in the Bay Area, including criminal justice, housing, and education. She’s covered a sexual harassment case against a UC Berkeley dean, a massive beef recall in Petaluma, and sexual harassment in the San Francisco Fire Department. Before coming to KQED, Sonja focused on hyper-local news in Berkeley as a reporter and editor for the Daily Californian. Sonja grew up in Marin County and currently lives in Berkeley. Email: shutson@kqed.org Twitter: @SonjaHutson

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