I know, I know, I can hear you say – What! You are writing about Christmas already, but the festive season is only eleven weeks away, already there are adverts on the telly about Christmas. Soon, every shop window will be festooned with colourful baubles and stars and twinkling lights with lend even the most dingy street a magical image, like Fairyland.
Here in Spain they go for Christmas in a big way, although the festive season for some Spanish isn’t until the 6th January, a national holiday, to celebrate ‘The Day of the Kings’ – ‘El Dia De Los Reyes.’
January 6th is a very special day throughout Spain. It is a day for the family to come together for a special meal, gift exchanges and time together. It is very much like Christmas Day in North America or northern European countries. Nowadays, both Christmas Day and January 6th are getting about equal celebration with the children’s gifts often divided between the two days – except in families on the “No Santa” side of the debate who persist in clinging to the old traditions thus making the kids wait until that very last day of the Christmas holidays for their presents.
The Three Kings Day is marked by spectacular parades in every city, town or villages in the country, no matter how big and small, where sweets and presents are given to all. Every region in Spain celebrates their own annual holidays and special fiestas, they can, in some cases, be thirty-two days, including national bank holidays. Spanish love fireworks, and a fiesta is an excuse for yet another spectacular firework display.
I love the way Spain celebrates New Year’s Eve. The Spanish have a charming tradition of celebrating ‘The twelve grapes of luck’ ‘Las doce uvas de la suerte.’ The tradition dates back to at least 1895, but became established in 1909 when some vine growers popularised the custom by selling a surplus of grapes after an excellent harvest.
The tradition consists of eating a grape with each twelve bell strikes at midnight on 31st December. According to tradition, this leads to a year of prosperity. In some areas, it is believed the tradition wards away witches and general evil.
The area I live is full of ex-pats, some from the UK, and we get to celebrate New
Year’s Eve twice. One at the UKs midnight (Spain is one hour ahead of the UK) when we turn on the telly and watch the celebration in Trafalgar Square, and listen to the ponderous twelve dongs from Big Ben. Of course, we round off the celebrations with Auld Lang Syne. Then we celebrate the coming of the New Year again at twelve o’clock Spanish time, eating the twelve grapes.
Soon, everyone will be rushing around busy streets by Christmas presents for their families and friends. If you are looking for presents for your children or grandchildren may I remind you of my ‘Fallyn’ trilogy books, and ‘A Twist of Fairy Tales’, which will make magical Christmas presents. I give below the links to my YouTube videos.
‘A Twist of Fairy Tales’ http://youtu.be/5FcJIygev3U
I’ll let you know as soon as soon as ‘A Twist of Fairy Tales’ is available on Amazon. In the video it says ‘in time for Christmas’ but it may be available earlier.
‘The Fallyn’ Trilogy. http://youtu.be/sBii7Ix_F28