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It can all be a little overwhelming, the city may not be huge but the culture, activities, events, eateries etc. is vast. So we have taken it upon ourselves to amalgamate our local 12 years experience in the city via our blog. Whether you are planning on coming over for the festivals, want to find out vegan eats or general insider information, we will keep you in the loop.
Celebrating Three Kings in Spain
For those visiting Barcelona for the first time, you may not know that in Spain the tradition of the Reyes, The Three Kings is in some cases more important than christmas day itself. Particularly for the children who have been patiently waiting throughout the christmas period for the Three Kings to arrive and bear gifts. On the evening of 5 January the streets are busy with parades throughout Barcelona, with overly excited children and tired parents waiting for the kings to hand out sweets and greet everyone.
Children write letters to the Three Kings in advance, telling them whether they have been ´good´ or ´bad´ and what they would like for christmas. Traditionally, children at home leave their shoes by the window only to be filled by the kings, water for the camels that the kings have travelled on and food for the kings to eat. On the morning of the 6th of January, the children awake to see what gifts the kings have brought. A ‘bad’ child is normally brandished with a lump of coal! Whilst a ‘good’ child will get some of what they requested.
There is of course a large family lunch, though somewhat more elaborate on this day and features a postre consisting of El Roscon de Reyes – a ring shaped cake with lots of candied fruit. Inside the cake you will find figurines, either a king or dry bean. Before people tuck in, they check to see if they have any surprises in their slice of cake. If you have the bean you have to pay for dinner, if you have the king, you are crowned the king for the day. Three Kings officially marks the end of the christmas season and other day after is the first day of the incredible rebajas (sales)! Enjoy, however you intend to spend the day.
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