Friday, January 05, 2007

El Dia De Los Reyes

Hello All,

All of you in America, who love the Christmas season, are sad at it's passing. I for one am always glad and most thankful for January! To my Grinch's chagrin, Christmas, or "Navidades," continues on into the first week of January with the celebrating of the Day Of The Kings. It is the commemoration of when the Magi came bearing gifts to the home of the infant Jesus. The holiday actually occurs tomorrow, January 6th and most Spaniard children will be awakening early for one more set of gifts to open. Actually, as a parent, it would be kind of a good thing if you really blew it at Christmas with the gift of socks!

In any event, January 5th is the day of the celebration of the arrival of the Kings, called "La Cabalgata De Los Reyes Magos." Yolee invited us to join her, Angel and Miriam Avila for a walk out to where this procession was to take place. All I had heard was that there was going to be a float with candy thrown to the gathered crowd. Turns out there were many floats, a ton of candy and a multitude of Spaniards! It was sort of "The Tournament Of Roses Parade" meets "Disneyland" meets "Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory!"

Here is the first float of the evening. I could see in the distance people on the float throwing candy out to the throng of people and I immediately thought, "Maybe this is not the best idea!" Talk about being a little late! As the float approached, the crowd readied themselves for the incoming sugar projectiles. Most people brought their own bags for the collection of the sweet treats. As the float passed by, the candies came at all kinds of speeds toward us. When the candy came out of the air, all the people scambled to the ground to pick up the hard candies that were the norm for the evening. A quick note of interjection: I have been suffering from a bad back all week, so bending over and getting candies was not a consideration tonight. As a result, I had to grab candies out of the air. Fortunately, I was an outfielder for my high school baseball team. Unfortunately, I was never very good at catching fly balls!

All in all, it was a fun night with everyone walking away, or in my case limping away, with at least a "caramelo" to chew on. Most walked away with enough candy to last a week! The kids had a great time checking out the lively floats and the various animals, not knowing that they were participating in another country's celebration. Too bad they will not be celebrating tomorrow with more gifts. What they don't know won't hurt them but at least those socks will keep their feet warm!

Blessings To The Friends Of Spain,
Frank Sanchez

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