Dia de los Reyes in Spain
January 6th was Epiphany Day. In Spain it is called Dia de los Reyes.
It is the day when a group of Kings traveled to Bethlehem to bring three gifts to the baby Jesus after following a star in the heavens.
I’m not religious or anything, but after living in Valencia, I woke up reminiscing my days in the old continent, savoring Spanish traditions and at times frustrated with the cultural differences I had acquired in the US.
It’s another holiday in the calendar, and if it happens to be on a Friday or Monday – even better, great for a “puente”, as they say it Spain – a long weekend.
It’s a magical day, like Christmas all over again. Families get together, the table is full of food and everyone is anxious about the “regalos”.
Each city has a parade, the “cabalgata” with the 3 Kings, riding camels, representing their journey to meet the baby Jesus. During this day, we can all feel like kids, excitingly waiting for gifts. Each child chooses a King, their favorite, who will deliver the presents.
It’s definitely not a formal night like Christmas Eve (many Spanish families go all out and wear their best outfits on the 24th), but it sure is tasty, with a great variety of sweets, including the “Roscón de Reyes”, a typical cake made for this special day, always served with homemade hot chocolate.
Here in Brazil it’s neither a holiday nor a gift giving day. It is the day we remove our Christmas decoration. It’s like a wake up call saying “party is over”. How ironic… In Spain Christmas is renovated and in Brazil it reaches an end. Party is over, back to reality; in Spanish: “aguafiestas”.