Finally, yesterday, the festive celebrations ended. Friday, 6 January was Three Kings Day or Los Reyes Magos. The day remembers the arrival of the Three Wise Men bearing gifts for Jesus in the Christmas Story – here it’s the day when all the kids get their gifts. On Thursday evening there was a parade in Marbella, as in many other towns and cities across Spain. Each float supported a bunch of children that would enthusiastically hurl sweets into the crowd along the parade route.
This was a special Christmas for me – my first with a Spanish family and my first since moving here full time. Rafa and I went up to Ronda on Christmas Eve to celebrate with a huge meal with his family. The weather during those few days was awful with rain and heavy clouds; so the Ronda road was a nightmare to navigate. Within a few kilometres, we were driving within the clouds, thick fog making for slow progress.
It was worth it though, as the 48 hours with the family was great – truly an opportunity to relax and indulge.
New Year was spent in the little house in Guaro, with a roaring fire – although on New Year’s eve a bird managed to throw inself down he chimney and block the flue, forcing billowing smoke back into the room – not quite the "Casa y Campo" magazine lifestyle theme I was going for, but the fire was put out and the air conditining set to maximium 32 degrees, and order was restored!
At 12 midnight we all welcomed in the New Year by eating 12 grapes! This is the tradition here in Spain, where each chime of the clock is accommpanied by the consumption of a grape! Sounds easy, but 12 graqpes is a bit much after a big meal and plenty to drink. Each grape brings good luck for each proceeding month or the new year.
As you can imagine, with a nation of over 60 million people all wanting grapes for new year, this is a big marketing opportunity. The supermarkets are full of over-packaged and over-priced grapes, as well as canned varieties. I opted for the new innovation of fresh, seeded and peeled grapes in sugared water. Much eaiser to get down!