kings, sages and magicians

Today is January 6th: el día de Reyes, the day when Spanish children finally get their Christmas presents. (Although we were told that Santa took gifts to children all round the world, he doesn’t visit many houses in Spain as he leaves it to the Magi to deliver the parcels – or coal for those who’ve been naughty – on Twelfth Night.)

Three kings, nativity scene
It would make more sense to me if the kids got their toys at the start of the school holidays so they had something to keep them occupied, but I guess los niños españoles spend their time watching TV and adding more and more items to their wish lists as they see the different juguetes advertised during the half-hour commercial breaks.
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time to start the year

Well, it’s January 7th and Christmas will soon be over. And about time, too.

Here in Spain the festivities begin back in early December: the Inmaculada is the 8th, but it tends to link up with the national Día de la Constitución on the 6th and there begins to be a general feeling that everyone’s getting psyched up for the holidays.

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oh little town of Bethlehem

It’s nearly Christmas, so it must be time to dust off the decorations. Not for me the tree and the tinsel, the baubles and ornaments that figured so importantly in my childhood.

The three Kings follow the star
The three Kings follow the star
No, since living in Spain I have discovered the art of the Nativity Scene and each year I set out my own small belén at home.

As most people do, I started off with the central stable scene – referred to here as the pesebre (manger), nacimiento (birth) or Misterio (mystery) – but as the years go by I’ve added figures and scenes and now I feel the display really does warrant the term “belén” which is the Spanish name for Bethlehem.
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