Thursday, January 5, 2012

Día de Los Reyes

Back up Halloween the Three Kings are here!  Yesterday we went to watching the Three Kings parade and were totally unprepared. Tons of people lined the streets and all the children had empty bags like they were going trick or treating. I had heard that they throw candy but I had no idea how much. As the floats passed by we were showered with small candies, balls and small toys. All you could here were the children shouting "Aquiaqui" as the caravans traveled past us. This was absolutely great for the boys. We missed the free candy every child is entitled to on October 31 so this more than made up for it. As for the parade itself it was ok and then as the procession drew close to and end the costumes and figures got better. Beginning with the Virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel you could tell these were very important aspects of culture and tradition in Valencia.  The float carrying Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus was a living nativity scene complete with animals and hay and a live baby.  Each king was proceeded by an envoy of servants and entertainers in beautiful costumes. The three kings themselves wore rich robes and had elaborate floats.
Candy Rain

After the parade we discussed the holiday and how it marked the end of the 12 days of Christmas. I told the kids about how the Kings' helpers climb balconies and deliver presents inside houses where kids live. We went to a bakery and got some traditional pastries to celebrate the festivities. Rosconturron and mazapan are traditional sweets eaten at this time of year. The Roscon goes directly along with Three Kings day. There are two objects hidden inside the pastries, a bean and a figure. The two people who find them will have good luck throughout the year (double if they also ate there 12 grapes on new years eve).  The one who finds the figure is the luckiest and crowned king.
We of course had to sing a few rounds of the 12 days of Christmas as we walked along the beach working off our sweets :). Yes yes I worked in a small lesson on the song, its believed meanings and religious persecution, when I'm on a roll I'm on a roll :).
Felíz Reyes a todos!!!!! 

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