dimecres, 6 de gener de 2010

Smell of Christmas (XI)... - Reis

This is the day that children wake their parents up at the cry "Han vingut els reis! Han vingut els reis" (The Three Wise Men have been here tonight!). They just can't wait to see which presents the Three Wise Men left for them during the night and unwrap them.

If they have been good, they will get nice presents, though not always everything they had asked for. They might get angry, but then their parents tell them that every boy and every girl must have toys and that they shouldn't be so selfish.

If they have been bad, they will get a... coal!!! This wasn't such a punishment for me, in fact I remember asking for coal, as I always knew it would be delicious sugar coal...

Naughty or nice?

Usually, on January 6th a last family meal is held. More, more food, as if we had not had enough! But delicious anyway! Traditionally, for dessert, we eat the Tortell de Reis (or Roscón de Reyes in Spanish). Though being eaten in the whole of Spain, there are local differences in the traditions related to it. In Catalonia, a broad bean and a little king china figure are hidden inside the tortell. The tortell is cut into pieces and one piece is given to each member of the family. If you get the piece with the broad bean inside, you have to pay for the tortell, and if you get the piece of the figure, you are crowned king with the paper crown that is usually placed in the centre of the tortell.

This is the Tortell de Reis

I do not like tortell very much, I think it is because of the cabell d'àngel (a kind of jam made of pumpkin) and the fruita confitada (glazed fruit), and when I was a child I didn't want to eat it also because I was afraid I might find the broad bean and I would cry at the thought of spending my savings on a tortell. But then I also ran the risk of not being crowded queen...

One funny thing I remember about the 6th January family lunch is that usually the tortell box included a small cardboard with the same poem in Spanish and Catalan and my father would have us children read in aloud in both languages, but making special emphasis in correcting our Spanish reading. That's how I learned, my Catalan accent would always be with me when speaking Spanish, but I also learnt that it was very important that I should read Spanish without my tongue twisting at every word :P.

The Reis day, or Epiphany (if we talk in religious terms), are the end of Christmas festivities. So that is the last of the Christmas series of posts. I have liked writing them a lot, as I discovered and learnt new things. Now you might say...no more Christmas series next year? Yes of course! While writing the posts I realized I could not talk about everything, so I had to leave some things for next year! So more on this from December 2010. Thanks for sharing Christmas with me by reading the posts ;).

2 comentaris:

Isabel ha dit...

In my case, the coal was always real coal. Which was fine because I'd always use it to draw stuff on the pavement anyway. :)

The Tortell de Reis looks delicious! (I love glazed fruit) I especially like the chance of being crowned Queen.

It's weird but I can't quite tell when someone speaking Spanish is Catalan. I can detect a Basque accent easily (because I sometimes have it especially with the habit of turning words like "acostumbrado" to "acostumbrao") but not so much with a Catalan accent... but if the person is speaking in Catalan, I can sometimes tell, especially if they're from Mallorca or Lleida.

I've really enjoyed the Christmas posts!

Anna ha dit...

Well...the accent...watch for Andreu Buenafuente's videos...He speaks Spanish perfectly, but his accent betrays him. Not so much with el Follonero (Jordi Ébole), though.

Real coal!!! And writing on the pavement...I also wrote in the pavement but with chalkstick we would pick from house building works.