Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tres Reyes Magos

Like in all the Catholic countries, religion is an important part of Christmas Celebrations in Spain. Churches are filled with people and ceremonies are held almost every evening.
The most important ceremony, Misa de Gallo , is held at midnight on Christmas Eve,  Noche Buena.

here is a little christmas chapel we found in Mijas Village

Along the church ceremonies, a Christmas Play is also very popular;
"Nacimiento", the story of how Jesus baby was born.
Kids like to dress up as figures from bible.

The most important decoration at homes is Christmas Creche, Pesebre. It is a collection of miniature figures, things and happenings on Christmas Eve around baby Jesus and Josef and Maria. Angels, animals and the 3 wise men. These creches can be huge and amazingly beautiful as they have been collected and re-built and re-painted for decades within the family.
The biggest ones are called "Belen" ( Betlehem) or "Portal de Belen" ( the gate of Betlehem )

All cities have also their Belens on display, usually by the church or town hall. These are huge collections. People travels around to go see the most beautiful ones.

here is a Belen we found on a window in Fuengirola.

All the Christams Festivities ends on Epiphany, 6th of Jan ,with a Big Bang on ;


= the tree wise men also called as 3 KINGS;
Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.
There are variations of the origin what  kings represent. Some historians say they represent Persia, India and Arabia. Some historians take wider view and say they are from Europe, Asia and Africa.

This is the time of Christmas that is made for children and fun. Every village and city helds a parade on the evening of the 5th Jan, with 3 kings walking around with their helpers, throwing candy for kids.
This is very old tradition, first parade was held 1886.

It is also a tradition to eat a cake during this time; Roscon de Reyes.
It is a round cake that is baked with several surprises inside, such as porcelain figure. The one that finds that figure, is blessed with good luck and gets to wear a crown. There is also a bean inside. The one who gets the bean, is supposed to pay for the cake....
 There are different variations of the cake, with chocolate filling, or cream, or candies..

Then during the night, magic happens..  Kings run from house to house and leave presents.

Tres Reyes Magos -  is a very important family day,
everyone gathers up together with their loved ones, enjoys a big meal and exchanges gifts.

Another Catholic Christmas is over...

but not yet.... Im going cake hunting and all the presents are still unwrapped!

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