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New Years Eve plans

December 09, 2006

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It is going to be a fun and unique holiday season here! We are already having a holiday here (I am not quite sure what it is) and Mozart is off from school today and the rest of the week. It is a long week end for everyone here and feels quite  festive on this beautiful day with European tourists enjoying themselves in the many outdoor cafes and wandering about. I have been dealing with a dental problem that seems to come and go, so we ended up doing lots of walking in the village because of that (pharmacy on one end, dentist on the other) and it is exciting to see how many more decorations are coming up every day. I am feeling the growing elation as the village prepares for the holidays.

We ran into our caretaker (of this rental home) while on our errands as it is impossible to walk around town without running into someone you know since that is just part of the enjoyment of life in a small village. She started talking with great enthusiasm about how they celebrate midnight mass at the church, the special New Years Eve in the square by the church and a holiday called three kings that they celebrate on January 6th.

So we will definitely do midnight mass on Xmas eve with Spanish carols and it seems we will have a special Spanish New Years eve. She says everyone in the village gathers in the square around eleven thirty on New Years eve and we are to bring grapes and champagne. The dress is everything from elaborate ball gowns to jeans and everyone is in a celebratory mood. There is flamenco dancing and a form called Sevilla dancing and lively music that goes on all night. Everyone eats a grape with each chime of the church bells at midnight for good luck. Fireworks and popping corks add to the festivities.

It is a beautiful square and just down the narrow cobble stoned street from us on our same road which is the main road in the old village. The custom in Spain like other parts of Europe (especially where it is warm) is to always close down between two and five or six, so children are out late at night also and always included. I have always read about how much Spaniards love children and it is true. With school out Mozart can nap and be on Espana time.

It is a wonderful, warm, safe place for Mozart and she will love these celebrations that will always stay with her. It is rewarding to see the village kids shout out her name in excitement when they run into her and she calls them back. We are part of the community now, both with expats and natives. Ladies that see DaVinci at the butcher shop or stores greet him as he walks by. Even I get smiles and greetings from our friendly elders in black.

On January sixth they have three men dressed as the three kings ride on horses thru the narrow streets of the village right past our home. Behind them come all the children because the tradition is that they throw sweets to them as they go and everyone revels in that with laughter and joy. The kids bring a bag and fill it as they go. They make their way to another large square in the new part of town and then call each village child’s name and gives them a wrapped gift. (She told us who to contact to handle the gift detail as it seems the parent provides it behind the scenes.) What fun!

We are going to use a picture of Mozart in her Flamenco dress for our Christmas card this year and I think she will have a recital for that class sometime during xmas vacation. It will be exciting to watch villagers on New Years Eve do the Flamenco and be part of a small village xmas and we look forward to this special holiday here. Most of it takes place at night so I hope my camera can catch some of it for you!

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