“Christmas isn’t a big thing here.” My Spanish friend said it almost innocently. C-christmas? Not a big thing? Last year I was shocked to find out that the world doesn’t stop turning completely in Spain during Christmas.
More food, more family
In the Netherlands we celebrate Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. In Spain we celebrate those days as well, of course. Differently, though. For starters, these is more food and more family. Whereas in the Netherlands people might take a break from the festivities for a walk through the dunes, woods or on the beach, in Spain it’s three days of non stop eating with the family. But, no presents.
Well, there is a thing in Catalonia called “Caga tió”, which is so weird that I wanted to write a blog about it until I saw this cartoon explaining it so much better than I would ever be able to. But Caga tió is more for children anyway.
The true present-giving moment in Spain is on January 6th: Three Kings. And then there is also something special happening the day before: La Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos, the traditional parade of the three kings: Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar. Every city, and even villages, has one.
In Barcelona this cavalcade is amazing. Last year I got caught in the festivities by accident; this year I made sure I wouldn’t miss a thing.
The parade in Barcelona usually starts near Parc de la Ciutadella around 6 o’clock in the evening, going down to the Via Laietana, going to Plaça de Catalunya and Plaça de la Universitat, down on Carrer de Selpúlveda, crossing the Plaça d’Espanya and finishing in front of the Font Màgica around half past 8.
It’s more than one hour of theatre, music and pure joy. And there’s sweets thrown off the parade coaches. Yes. Of course’s there’s food. It’s Spain.