Tuesday 5 January 2010

Feliz Roscon de Reyes

The day the kings present Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh is also known as the 12th day of Christmas or if you are in Spain as Epiphany. This day falls on 6 January and is a big national holiday . What we hadn't expected was how much fun we were going to have on the Eve of Epiphany.

In every town, village and city there is a parade. In El Rompido our 3 kings arrived by boat at 4 pm on the pier and immediately started chucking sweets at the people on the pier. A band then led the way to the thrones where the kings seated with their harems were to be pulled by tractors and then paraded around the streets. From the trailers the kings and harem threw confetti, sweets and small toys into the crowds which lined the roads and chased after tractors. There was quite a battle for the balls which appeared to be the most coveted toys. We filled my handbag and every pocket with sweets and Marc made a spectacular catch of a red ball that had bounced off a light post. Even our car had sweets on it when we returned to it.

The kings then gathered at the entrance to the local church where they were presented with flowers and they laid their boxes of gifts at the altar. And we went off to get some food for dinner.

We had been noticing these round cakes filled with cream or chocolate or custard and we realised that this is what a typical Spanish family eats on the night before Epiphany. So we just had to get us one! And so we did....it was delicious. We found a plastic toy inside the piece we cut for Abigail and a inedible nut of some sorts wrapped in plastic in Sebastian's. Near as I can figure this is for good luck.

As we pack and prepare for our departure early tomorrow morning, we have had a wonderful holiday. We saw and learned a lot of things we didn't know about Spain. We were surprised with unplanned adventures several times. The children have made some wonderful memories. I wish it had been warmer and sunnier but despite my best attempts I just cannot control the weather!

There is a blizzard in England and sever weather warnings are in place for tonight. It is forecast that 16 in of snow will fall over night. Hopefully the airport we are flying to won't be affected but we will certainly find the drive home a challenge. The weather may beat us yet!

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