Thousands of Mexicans devour enormous king cake

MEXICO CITY (AFP) - Tens of thousands of Mexicans wolfed down a 1.9km long king cake on Thursday, polishing it off in less than half-an-hour during the traditional feast in downtown Mexico City.

The Epiphany pastry weighed almost 9.4 tonnes and was made with 4.9 tonnes of flour, 2.8 tonnes of butter, one tonne of sugar and marmalade, hundreds of kilos of candied fruits and more than 43,000 eggs, the city government said.

Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera was among the first people to take a bite from the "Rosca de Reyes," which was placed along tables in the historic Zocalo Plaza. Some 200,000 pieces were distributed.

Mexican families eat the bread in the run-up to the Epiphany on Jan 6, the day Christians believe the Three Wise Men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the baby Jesus.

A baby Jesus figurine is hidden in the cake and the person who finds it must make tamales - a corn dumpling - on Feb 2, the Day of the Candles, for those who shared the bread.

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