January 8, 2014

LOS REYES MAGOS ...




LOS REYES MAGOS - OR WHY CHRISTMAS TAKES PLACE 12 DAYS LATER HERE ...

According to tradition in Spain, children receive their Christmas presents from the three "Reyes Magos" – Gazpar, Melchor and Baltasar on Sunday, January 5 (Epiphany Eve). Almost every Spanish city or town organises parades or cabalgatas (above and below) that evening - when the Kings and their servants parade and throw sweets to the children (and parents). Astute children (and parents) open umbrellas to collect them!




The parade of the three kings in Alcoy, Valencia (below) claims to be the oldest in the world, having started in 1886.

On January 6th, the centrepiece of la fiesta de los Reyes Magos is the Three Kings’ Cake or Roscón de Reyes (below): a sweet, ring-shaped cake with a small gift (a small figurine of the baby Jesus or another surprise depending on the region) and an actual dry broad bean (don’t ask!) baked into the middle. The one who gets the gift is crowned king/queen for the day but whoever gets the bean has to pay the value of the cake to the person who originally bought it or provide the following year’s King’s cake. Presents are opened as on a typical Western Christmas Day - only 12 days later!

                                                                
As times change, many families in Spain are beginning to acknowledge Santa Claus and give gifts on Christmas Day. Some families even celebrate both!

NORA 






29 comments:

Carol L McKenna said...

Wonderful post and magical photos ~ xxx

New Orleans at Mardi Gras time has a traditional King Cake much like yours ~ they are delicious!

Arija said...

I find it a pity that 'western' Christmas habits are staring to infiltrate Spain. I believe in ' vive la difference!'.
When I was little in the cold, cold winters of Latvia we had, as most Europeans, our Christmas on Christmas eve but at New Year's eve people would dress up in funny costumes and go around in villages and small towns knocking on doors to frighten away the ghosts of the old year and would get an apple or some nuts.
Of course it could get a little complicated when people thought they gave an apple to a fellow in a bear suit when it was the real thing who had wandered in from the forest!
Thanks for the pics of all the different wise men.

Cathy Kennedy said...

The photos are lovely. This looks like an excellent thing to see first hand. I like reading about how others celebrate the holidays. Is this sweet ring-shaped cake similar to what we know as a fruit cake? Thanks for sharing!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

I always enjoy learning about the ways different countries celebrate Christmas. I recently watched a Rick Steves PBS show about European Christmas customs -- very good!
And, like Carol said above, the King Cake you showed reminded me of the King Cake served during Mardi Gras!

Sarah~Magnolia Surprise said...

I always enjoy learning about the different ways Christmas is celebrated around the world -- I recently saw a Rick Steves PBS broadcast about European Christmas customs -- very interesting!
And, like Carol said above, the King Cake you showed reminded me of the King Cakes served during Mardi Gras!
(sorry if this posts twice -- I got a Google error message on my first try!)

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Just a party (with champagne!) at a neighbor's house.

Very low key and the perfect way to start the new year...

Sue said...

What a cool tradition! The only New Year's tradition where I lived was fireworks, although we had a few family ones.

=)

Melody Harrison said...

Hi Nora and Lola! Happy new year! That is a very cool tradition and the photos are incredibly beautiful. I love it.

Hugs to you and Lola.

Love,
Melody

Lmkazmierczak said...

Interesting and such a lovely tradition♪ Thanks for sharing this and still wishing Happy 2014! http://lauriekazmierczak.com/how-great-2/

EG CameraGirl said...

The magic of the holidays!

Tracy Cook said...

what a lovely post, i love the idea to celebrate twice especially gifts , I mean who wouldn't

edenhills said...

What a wonderful celebration!

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

I have learned something new today. There are as many different ways to celebrate Christmas as there are people.

Thanks for such an informative post.

DougPhoto2009 said...

Thanks for sharing your colorful photos. Do you have the recipe for the Three Kings' Cake?

Pondside said...

What beautiful and colourful celebrations! Out here there were fireworks in the harbour - always lots of fun.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

i love this tradition! it is something i have thought of as a time for all of our families to get together as many of us have other obligations on Christmas day. your photos of Christmas in Spain are wonderful.

Gunilla Bäck said...

I love all the bright colours. We celebrate New Year with a glass of champagne and fireworks.

Ros Crawford said...

Great photos!! Thank you so much for sharing with us at Our Beautiful World!!

Laura said...

What a joyful celebration! Thanks for sharing the love up-close with I Heart Macro:-)

Ann said...

Oh I love this celebration with the 3 kings!!! We have had Kings Cake in New Orleans and found the baby Jesus in there. The first picture of the Kings is beautiful--there costumes so vibrant.
Ann

LV said...

A most interesting post. So neat seeing how other parts of the world honer special days.

bettyl-NZ said...

That looks like a lot of fun!

Ralph said...

Being in the US, the celebration centers on 25 December. Yet, I like that in España, Christmas is kept within traditions and held on 6 January. The three kings here are very majestic, and a gift cake - how cool! Speaking of cool, the bad cold has gone, we are uncharacteristically warm(ish) it is and will be this week about 8.4°C/ 48°F. We will be happy to defrost a bit! Happy post Christmas and New Year!

Rajesh said...

Beautiful coverage of celebrations.

Maria Kristina Maano said...

Hi Nora and Lola, I love the idea of the Three Kings cake! It's a fun tradition!

Hope 2014 is an awesome one for everyone!

Hannah said...

How fun to get a glimpse of how Christmas is celebrated in another culture. The Wise Men / Magi costumes are impressive, and the traditional King Cake. It looks like fun to make and eat.

bailey-road.com said...

What a wonderful tradition,

(◔‿◔) said...

Thats a great post, with interesting celebration, good shots und a yummi food-picture!
Thanks for sharing and happy evening, Wieczora (◔‿◔) | my photoblog

Annesphamily said...

I love these wonderful tradtions and celebrations! I was under the weather for New Years but I vividly remember my youngest daughter texting me a Happy New Year!
My mother always kept our tree up until the feast of the Three Kings and I try to keep my tradition in my own home. This year was tough because I was ill and had zero energy afterwards. I love those cakes with the surprises baked inside. Such sweet fun! Thank you for sharing and I hope your new year is blessed with health and happiness and all go things. Hugs, Anne