BCN Life

Los Reyes Magos

ReyesMagos Cabalgatadereyes Barcelona ayearinbarcelona

(EN below)

Om morgenen d. 6. januar spørger alle spanske børn sig selv: Har jeg fået gaver eller “carbón” (kul)? For selvom julemanden også flyver til de sydlige himmelstrøj, ja så er det traditionelt de hellige tre konger – los Reyes Magos: Melcior, Caspar og Baltasar – som kommer med gaverne. Men altså kun, hvis børnene har været søde, ellers må de nøjes med kulstykker.

Og hvorfor skal de spanske børn så vente tålmodigt til d. 6. januar? Jo, det er fordi, det var den dag, at de hellige tre konger kom med gaver for at besøge Jesus-barnet i stalden.

Cabalgata de Reyes

Festlighederne starter dog allerede om aftenen d. 5. januar med ankomsten af de hellige tre konger, gerne med skib og helt fra Mellemøsten, hvorefter de skal i parade gennem byen – Cabalgata de Reyes. I de større byer som Madrid og Barcelona er der tale om virkelig storslåede parader med vogne med forskellige temaer, dansere, musik, lys med de hellige tre konger i centrum. En festlig blanding af noget religiøst og folkloristisk.

Langs ruten står familier, gerne i flere generationer, ventende for at få et glimt af optoget. Det kan være ret svært, især for børn, hvorfor mange sidder på forældrenes skuldre eller på stiger, som er medbragt hjemmefra. Nogle af børnene sidder endda med plastiskposer for at kunne fange flest muligt af de karameller, som optoget afsluttes af med. Mange børn har også et brev med til kongerne med deres ønsker, som – med lidt held – kan blive afleveret til kongerne, når de passerer.

Reyes Magos CabalgatadeReyes letters Barcelona ayearinbarcelona
Børnenes brev til de hellige tre konger indsamles nemt med et net/The children’s letter to the three kings is easily collected with a net

Cabalgata de Reyes er for børnene, men vi andre kan også godt se med. Og der kan være nok at se på, i Barcelona dette år deltog mere end 1200 optrædende, heriblandt 300 professionelle dansere og skuespiller samt studerende fra forskellige teaterskoler.

Når paraden er passeret, og børnene forhåbentlig har fået afleveret deres brev eller i det mindste fanget en karamel eller to, er det tid til at vende hjemad med stigerne under armen. Nu handler det om at hygge sig i familien, og for børnene om at stille deres sko frem og måske en tallerken med mad eller lidt sødt. Dermed kan de hellige tre konger se, at der er børn i huset, og der er lidt for kongerne og deres kameler at styrke sig på, når de skal nå rundt til alle natten til d. 6. januar for at aflevere gaver eller kul.

Roscón de Reyes

Om morgenen d. 6. januar ser børnene efter bevis på, at kongerne har været forbi. Er maden væk? Og er der gaver eller kul ved siden af skoene? For så kan spændingen endelig blive udløst! Har jeg fået det, jeg ønskede mig?

Der hygges med at åbne gaver, og bagefter skal der spises morgenmad, hvor der serveres den traditionelle kage: Roscón de Reyes. En traditionel spansk kage med kandiseret frugt på toppen, og måske med fløde eller creme indeni. Inde i kagen er indbagt en hestebønne og en lille kongefigur, og nu handler det om at få fat i kongen. Får du kongen, skulle du få heldet med dig for resten af året, ligesom du får æren af at bære den medfølgende kongekrone. Du er kongen den dag. Var du så uheldig, at du fik stykket med hestebønnen, ja så bad luck, for du skal nu betale for kagen.

Reyes Magos RoscondeReyes Barcelona ayearinbarcelona
Roscón de Reyes – med kronen i midten/with the crown in the middle

Julen – la Navidad

Festlighederne omkring de hellige tre konger er blandt de vigtigste religiøse festligheder i Spanien, selvom om den jul med julemanden, som vi kender fra Danmark og andre vestlige lande, også får stadig større betydning. Der er da også spanske familie, der udveksler gaver d. 24. december, ligesom der også eksisterer specielle spanske og catalanske traditioner omkring julen.

Navidad GagaTio Barcelona ayearinbarcelona
Dette er Tió de Navidad eller Caga Tió, en speciel catalansk juletradition. Børnene slår på træstammen med en pind, mens de synger en speciel sang. Og hvis de er heldige, kommer der gaver ud af stammens ende (Caga betyder lort på spansk og catalansk)/This is Tió de Navidad or Caga Tió, a special catalan Christmas tradition. The children hits the trunk with a stick while singing a song. And if they are lucky, gifts will come out of the backside of the trunk. (Caga means feces in Spanish and Catalan )

Men los Reyes Magos er stadigvæk den største festlighed, så skulle du befinde dig i Barcelona eller en anden større, spansk by omkring disse datoer, ja så stil dig i kø sammen med de spanske familier, nyd optoget og stemningen og se børnenes øjne. Det er magisk!

ReyesMagos Cabalgatadereyes Barcelona ayearinbarcelona
Paraden afsluttes med konfetti og karameller. Bemærk drengen med plastikposen, han var heldig/The parade ends with confetti and caramels. Pay attention to the boy with the plastic bag, he got lucky

UK

In the morning of 6th of January, all Spanish children ask themselves: Have I received gifts or “carbón”? Even though Santa Claus also flies south, it is traditionally the Three Kings – Los Reyes Magos: Melcior, Caspar and Baltasar – who come with the presents. But only if the children have been good during the year, otherwise they get coal – carbón.

And why do the Spanish children have to wait patiently for January 6th? Well, that’s because it was the day that the Three Kings came with gifts to baby Jesus in the stable.

Cabalgata de Reyes

The celebrations begin on the 5th of January in the afternoon with the arrival of the Three Kings, sometimes by ship and from the Middle East, herafter begins a parade through the city – Cabalgata de Reyes. In major cities like Madrid and Barcelona these are really magnificent parades with wagons of different themes, dancers, music and lights, all with the Three Kings at the center. A festive blend of something religious and folkloristic.

Along the route, families, often several generations, are waiting for a glimpse of the parade. It can be quite difficult to come close, especially for children. Many sit therefore  on the shoulders of the parents or on ladders brought from home. Some of the children bring plastic bags in order to catch as many caramels as possible at the end of the procession. Many children also bring a letter to the kings with their wishes, which – with little luck – can be handed to the kings as they pass.

Cabalgata de Reyes is for the children, but adults will also enjoy it. There is certainly a lot to look at, this year in Barcelona more than 1200 performers participated, including 300 professional dancers and actors as well as students from different theater schools.

When the parade has passed and the children with a little luck have handed in their letter or at least caught a caramel or two, it’s time to return home with the ladders under the arm. Now it’s about having fun in the family, of being together and enjoy. The children put their shoes out for the Three Kings to see and maybe also a plate of food or some sweets. Thus, the Three Kings can see that there are children in the house and perhaps grap a little bite for them selves or their camels as they are riding all night until January 6th to deliver gifts or coal.

Roscón de Reyes

In the morning of the 6th of January, the children are eager to see if the kings have passed their house. Is the food gone? And are there gifts or coal next to the shoes? Then the excitement can finally be releashed! It´s time to open the presents: did I get what I wished for?

Afterwards breakfast is served including a traditional cake: Roscón de Reyes. A traditional Spanish cake with candied fruit on top, and maybe with cream. Inside the cake is a horse bean and a little figure of a king, and now it’s about getting a slice with the king. If you get the king, you will be in luck for the rest of the year, and you have the honor of wearing the accompanying royal crown. You are the king for a day. Were you so unfortunate that you got a piece with the horse bean, well it’s just bad luck, you will now have to pay for the cake.

Christmas – La Navidad

The celebrations surrounding the Three Kings are some of the most important religious celebrations in Spain, even if the Christmas with Santa Claus, as we know from Denmark and other Western countries, is gaining importance in Spain. There are Spanish families exchanging presents on December 24, as well as special Spanish and Catalan Christmas traditions.

But Los Reyes Magos is still the most important Christmas celebration, so if you are in Barcelona or another major Spanish city around this time of year, you should try to find a spot along the route with the Spanish families, and just enjoy the parade, the  atmosphere and see the eyes of the children. It’s magical!

Navidad caganer Barcelona ayearinbarcelona
El Caganer, en anden catalansk juletradition, som placeres i julekrypten for held. Traditionelt fremstillet som en catalansk bonde (med den røde hue), men offentlige personligheder afbilledes også, hvilket skal betragtes – for de flestes vedkommende – som en ære/El Caganer, another Catalan Christmas tradition, placed in the nativity scene for luck. Traditionally made as a Catalan peasant (with the red cap), but public figures are also depicted, which should be considered – for the most part – as an honor

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