Thursday, 12 January 2012

A night fit for Kings

The tradition in Spain is that children only receive their presents  on the 6th January, which is the Epiphany on the Christian calendar, after the arrival of the Kings on the night of the 5th. Father Christmas or Santa Claus is slowly becoming more popular but it is seen as a marketing gimmick and linked to the culture of North America. So the kids have to wait and wait and wait until the 6th January before they get their goodies!

If you think about it though, although it's a tradition that has been around forever and is still upheld, it's not really that fair on the children; two days after getting their presents and it's time to go back to school! But to make up for the long wait the arrival of the Kings is widely rejoiced and celebrated. Practically every town has it's own procession. The theme is changed every year and the floats and costumes all represent the same theme.

This year, in the town where I live, the theme was the Jungle Book.

The Jungle Book
Different associations, youth groups, dance schools and even the local OAP centre made their own floats and costumes to participate in the parade.

The monkeys

The tigers
Apart from the monkeys and tigers there were elephants, birds and a giant snake. Between the floats there were dancers in costume and marching bands. The music was playing, the lights were flashing and the children loved it! Each float was loaded high with sweets which were thrown out to the hundreds of people lining the streets along the route. They made there way through the centre of town to the Town Hall building in the central square.

The Kings
And bringing up the rear of the parade were the stars of the show, the ones that all the children had been desperately waiting for to arrive - the Kings! It's definitely a time for children to enjoy but it's not surprising to see all the 'accompanying' parents, grandparents and other adults having a great time too.

Hasta pronto!