Our family travels have led us to colorful celebrations around the globe, but I am still amazed by the festivals in Spain and the 3 Kings or "Los Reyes Magos" is one not to be missed. In Andalusia they know how to celebrate life!
We found it absolutely magical our first winter here, but every year it is a little different and every year it touches our hearts. These are some pictures that I took from the 2009 celebrations and I guess I didn't post anything about the one in 2008 even though we took pictures and video. It's hard to always keep up with everything, but this year had a fun twist with kid's from Mozart's school participating in costumes, so I thought I'd do a blog post with mostly photos.
All processions always start at the church square!
Mozart and her best friend enjoy petting the horses before it begins. She will be learning the hand crafts this year from a friend in the village that you can see demonstrated in the colorful materials on the horses.
3 second grade boys were picked as 3 Kings to help throw the candy.
The 3 Kings ride though the village and throw candy to the kids along the way.
Many of the cobblestone streets are very narrow & the whole village follows and the band too.
There is wild excitement, kind of a blend between Halloween and Christmas with the candy finding rush, music and fireworks going off.. One girl gets picked to play Mary and ride a donkey in the procession and she is in Mozart's class.
Gathering the candy as they go excites the children.
The kid's and adults alike love this ritual.
Mozart had slept over this friends house the night before, Do they look a little tired?
The man with the box keeps the baskets filled with candy as we go.
You can see the oldest part of the village where the procession began at the church square in the background along with the mountains that surround this hill town near the sea,
Every holiday procession, every funeral follows this long, hilly walk together through the whole village.
The symbolism of the ritual is very moving in this ancient and rustic location.
The joy in the children can't help but make you smile.
At the community hall, each child's name is called by the 3 Kings.
They each get a gift and their moment in the sun. Mozart loves the gift part too!
Then it is time to go home, get in ones P.J.'s and organize that candy! Three Kings is the BIG Christmas celebration in Spain and we are so grateful that we have been able to be part of it in "our" special village for four years!