Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day of the Kings - three wise men.

Above a photo of - from left to right - Emily, Freddie, Gaby, Jack, Tabitha and Isabella at the back.

El dia de Reyes

Los Tres Reyes Magos literally means "The Three King Wizards", but is usually interpreted to mean "The Three Wise Men" or "The Three Kings". Their celebration day (January 6th) is refered to as "Three Kings Day" or just "The Day of the Kings".

As you may know the Three Kings, Balthasar (Spanish = Baltasar), Gaspar and Melchior (Spanish = Melchor) arrived twelve days after the birth of Jesus, bearing their famous gifts of gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

On January 5th in most Spanish towns is the "la cabalgata" (the calvacade) which is a parade marking the arrival of the Three Kings. The Three Kings ride on floats throwing candy to the children. In the Canary and Balaeric Islands the Three Kings arrive by ship! Not in Ciutadella...

Last night, 5th January, the three Kings paraded through Ciutadella in fine style. There were many highly decorated floats with lots of children collecting sweets as they were thrown by the Kings. (The three wise men)

After the parade the children return to their homes to prepare for the arrival of the Three Kings. They place their shoes on the windowsills and fill them with straw, carrots and barley for the donkeys of the Three Kings. Sometimes they might also leave some food for the Three Kings. The next morning the children wake up early to open their presents. Although the children like all of the Three Kings, their favorite is Baltasar because he is the one who it is believed actually leaves the gifts. This is also the day that adults will get their presents although of course these are not delivered by the Three Kings.

We went to Billy's house where we got in the spirit of things until the parade, just gone 7pm. We went back afterwards to get warm and eat the sweets we had collected - for once I picked up more than Brian.

A brisk walk home around ten and hot chocolate.

1 comment:

Angie said...

This guy says it's cold over there, right?