Today is the day of the three kings (Los Reyes Magos - Melchor, Gaspar & Baltasar) - which is basically our Christmas day (the time the children receive their presents), these are brought by the kings; which kind of makes sense really as they did come bearing gifts - so where does Santa Claus (Papa Noel) come in?? Good question? A marketing ploy to make people spend more? As a child I had many questions such as, how did he mange to fit down the chimney? why was he SO happy? how did he give everyone presents? and if he bought me presents, what did my parents get me?
Well in Spain this is a huge day with a procession of floats and sweets and a ring shaped cake called Roscón de los Reyes. There was alot of coverage on the news of the events and all the shops are closed - the sales start tomorrow: much like the UK the kick in the teeth after spending all that money they reduce the cost of the items you bought!
The kings brought with them Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh - today they bring Cologne, Game Consoles and Mobiles - boy how times have changed. I can picture the scene now - baby Jesus smelling of the latest Calvin Klein fragrance, kicking ass with Assassins Creed on his Playstation 3 whilst calling up his boys on his new Nokia come round and hang out!
Well in England today is the Twelfth Night when all the decorations come down and here to but only because it is the last day of Christmas to the Spaniards.
But times they are a changing people - Santa is becoming more popular and presents are now being exchanged on December 25th - the western world is having its influence - so much so that I predict by 2012 Smoking will be banned in Spain, English more widely spoken, Siestas will be a thing of the past, Bullfighting will be no more and my Spanish friends will learn the importance of good customer service.
just for a laugh check out this video of the kings mocking Santa http://www.yosoydelosreyesmagos.com I think the war has started!