dimarts, 5 de gener de 2010

Smell of Christmas (X)... - Nit de reis

Wrap yourself up and go out on the street. See the illuminated, happy wondering faces of little children as they pass by throwing sweets at the crowd. Do not forget your paper lamp while you are waiting for them. Why?

Because...ARRIBEN ELS TRES REIS D'ORIENT!, The Three Wise Men are here!. Melcior, Gaspar and Baltasar are here to bring presents to all children!

Prior to Wise Men arrival, children write letters saying they have been very good children, done well at school and helped their parents so they would be really pleased if the Wise Men brought them some presents. And they list the presents they would like to have. This letters have to be ideally given to a royal page that comes to the place some days before. If not, last minute letters are also taken in.

January 5th is the D-day for children. After seeing the Three Wise Men parade, they will have to face the Wise Men: they will sit on one of Wise Men lap and he will ask them if they have been good children. Obviously they will say yes, I've been good and they will get a little gift. Occasionally, a little toddler will cry because he will be scared but his/her parents will smile and tell him, the Three Wise Men are very good people and that he should trust them.

Poster announcing the royal page coming to get the letters
and the Three Wise Men 2010 parade in my village, Vilafant.
I love this poster! :)

Images of the Wise Men parade in my village, January 2009.
In order: the Three Wise Men, a royal page and one moment in the parade.

After the parade and the talk with one of the Wise Men, children must have supper, prepare their shoes (so the Wise Men knows where they have the presents for him), leave some food and drink for their camels, and go to bed early. During the night, the Wise Mean will come to the house (they are magic, so they will be able to come in) and leave the presents.

Núria, my sister, is almost ready (year 1993)

The three of us are almost ready (1993)

Food, drink and shoes...all ready for the magic night! (1993)

I hope you have been good or else... (you will learn what on the next post) ;)!

4 comentaris:

Isabel ha dit...

Now this one custom I grew up with! It's funny because this isn't celebrated in the Philippines but we did it anyway. We wouldn't write letters but we would leave our shoes in my Abuelo and Abuela's house. Then, the Tres Reyes would hide our shoes and we would have to search the house high and low to find the presents. Each would also find a letter written by the Tres Reyes reminding us to be good (if you weren't so good, they would also leave some cigarette butts for you to clean up as a mini-punishment before you could get your gifts).

Anna ha dit...


I find the tradition of shoe hiding very curious! Must be some evolution of the traditional shoe-leaving.. More funny, indeed! :D

But the cleaning the cigarette butts is just hilarious! Where this tradition come from? We had coal if we weren't so good...(but I won't tell you more...it's on next post!)

Isabel ha dit...

I bet those modifications came about from a member of my family just having a bright idea. :)

Once, one of the cigarettes had a lipstick stain on it (which matched my Aunt's shade of lipstick) and I kept questioning her about it, until finally, she said that the Tres Reyes sometimes bring along their girlfriends to help hide the presents. :D I've also found coal and a rotten potato in my pile.

Anna ha dit...

Your family has a lot of imagination...haha! Thanks for the laugh, it was a great way to begin the day!