3 ene 2012

The Three Kings street procession in Madrid is almost here!

From the start of next week the streets of Madrid, and those of all Spanish cities and towns, will start to fill up with floats driven primarily by 3 men wearing beards with sweets, Christmas tinsel to shouting children with wide smiles. Christmas in Madrid is truly something to behold, the mixture of churros with chocolate, searching through the Christmas sales and being in the capital, all encapsulates a great festive period with the main goal of improving your Spanish on your Christmas Spanish Course. However there is also a large emphasis on the birth of Jesus and the story of the Three Wisemen.

Following the star through the darkness,
It´s a baby these Kings want to bless.
According to what Catholic religion describes, after the birth of baby Jesus, three visitors from the Orient came, guided by a star to his manger to pay homage to the recently born and with them they bought offerings of gold, incense and mer. Although the evangelist only listed them as magi, time and tradition have turned them into The Magic Kings.
In this day and age, young children believe that the Three Spanish Kings, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar, travel by camel from house to house during the night of the Reyes (5th of January) to leave them presents which they will open with delight on the morning of the 6th. The wisdom of the kings covers everything and includes knowing how the children behaved during the year. The children that have been good are showered with gifts and the children that are naughty are given coal (normally made from sugar).

For this reason, during the days leading up to the 5th of January, children normally write letters to the Magic Kings in which they list the presents they want so that the Kings don´t get confused and they plead their case when it comes to how good they have been during the year. It´s very common to leave out glasses of milk with biscuits for the Kings and grass for the camels so that, during a night of such hard graft, Their Majesties can get their strength back with a little bite to eat.
Three happy Kings

To make it even more magical still, in every city and town the night of the fifth hosts the “Magi Kings Procession” which passes through the streets throwing sweets and collecting letters from the watching children.

      ·         The route of the Kings parade is from Nuevos Ministerios to the Plaza de Cibeles.
     ·        It starts in the corner of Nuevos Ministerios going down to the Plaza de San Juan de la Cruz.
      ·         Then onto Plaza del Doctor Marañón
      ·         Glorieta de Emilio Castelar
      ·         Plaza de Colón
      ·         Paseo de Recoletos
      ·         Plaza de Cibeles
      ·         Finishing in CentroCentro- Palacio de Cibeles, the mayor´s office of Madrid.
As well as the itinerary provided, there will be plenty of other performances to enjoy during this evening of might and magic:
·       Cantajuego with EnCanto, from 18:00 to 18:30, on the Cibeles stage, before the start of the main procession. These will be traditional interpretations of Villancicos for all the children to enjoy.
·        The children´s choir from Saint-Marc in Lyon, from 19:00 to 19:30, also in la Plaza Cibeles, they will entertain you with their selection of Gregorian, popular, secular, folklore and contemporary Spanish songs.
·        A message from their Majesties the Magi Kings, at 20:45 in the Plaza Cibeles, to mark the end of the procession. There will also be fireworks to enjoy set to the First Movement of Mozart´s First symphony (1756).
The traditional Roscón de Reyes
It is customary in the morning of the 6th of January (or late in the evening of the 5th) to eat “Roscón de Reyes” to find the gold broach hidden in the tart for those eager to be crowned the Christmas kings.
What are you going to ask for Christmas from the Reyes Magos?

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