DID you know? Spain has some interesting traditions at this time of year:
Children in Spain don't
really get presents at Christmas, but they have to wait until the 6th of
January, when Three Kings Day (el dia de los Reyes
Magos) is celebrated. It's the day the three kings arrived in Bethlehem to see the new born Christ.
On the night of the 5th of
January, children put out shoes filled with straw for the kings' donkeys and
camels, as well as some sweets for the kings themselves. The next morning, they wake to
find that the hay and sweets have been eaten and that presents are waiting for
them next to their shoes.
Later in the day, there are
parades in the streets called the
Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos. Accompanied by festive lights and music, nativity scenes are acted out. The three kings ride on horses, camels or elaborate floats and throw goodies and sweets down to the children lining the streets.
In recent years, some
children have been very lucky and have also received presents from Santa but
mostly, Santa has left this job to the Kings on the 6th January!
Another interesting tradition
is celebrated at midnight on New Year's Eve:
You eat 12 grapes,
one on every stroke of the clock of Midnight.
This is believed to bring good
luck for the next year!
Apparently, you can even buy
special little tins of 12 grapes in the shops for this purpose!
some vocabulary for you:
Christmas eve is called Nochebuena
NewYear's Eve is called Nochevieja
Gracias to Ms Burford for providing the information.