It's 25°C on January 6th, 2013, and I'm sitting here in Maro southern Spain unable to believe my luck. The sky is the most amazing blue and we've just gotten back from a walk to the beach where I sat in my bra in the sunshine. There were some rudey nudeys on the beach, both male and female, but I opted to keep my big sports bra on, thank you very much.
It's been an exciting day here in Spain, as today is Epiphany and is the Spanish version of Christmas. That is to say, you get your presents today and not on the 24/25th of December. The music started on the village loud speakers at about 10am and stopped just after 1pm. At midday, a horse-drawn carriage brought the Wise Men to hand out the presents to the children in front of the church. Each child was called and the excitement was very catchy. They threw sweets into the streets for the kids to collect and I successfully restrained myself from joining in the collecting fun.
There were 5 Wise Men which I found confusing as I thought there were only 3. Can anyone explain this to me? The costumes were elaborate and after the gift giving, they had their photograph taken with babies and other members of the public. It's a super tradition and the kids were besides themselves with joy. I assume the parents bring the gifts and the Wise Men just hand them out, as otherwise I recommend we all to Spain to get the super gifts!
We had no idea this tradition existed until last year when we innocently drove through Madrid on 6.1.12. It was a Saturday afternoon and we were in bumper to bumper traffic for what felt like hours. We pulled up at the huge Jesus statue on the outskirts of Madrid and just couldn't get over the activity everywhere. Well, now we know. It's their biggest holiday and we're much the wiser now.
Oh yes, another question that needs answering please: the church bells tolled madly at 6pm, 6.15pm and 6.30pm. Was this to call people to church? I was in the midst of frying calamari rings which I had cleaned at a beautiful tiled sink in the village square (loads of people stopped by to smile and comment), so I didn't go and find out. And by the time we'd finished cooking, eating and clearing a way, there wasn't a soul in the church. So do drop me a line and let me know if you know.
And seeing as this is essentially a foodie blog, do you know what traditionally gets eaten at Epiphany? Okay, I'll tell ya. Galette des Rois gets eaten at Epiphany. Voila. But I'll tell you all about that another time. Have to run and do more exciting stuff here in Spain. Adios!