So here we are. Spain again…. Its taken almost six weeks of being here to get back to publishing my thoughts and impressions. Just settling in and getting through Christmas and New Year etc. The festive season here is far less of a commercial circus than at home and it is refreshing. Spain has a laudable focus on family which precludes over-the-top commercialism. Yes there is signage and decorations in stores but a lot less than we are used to in New Zealand. What really impressed me were the Christmas light displays which must be organized by the municipal councils and churches. Many people we know here in Elviria, (just out of Marbella) made a special trip to Malaga before Christmas to see the lights in the main shopping area . The Cathedral also had a lit up nativity scene (or Belen, Spanish for Bethlehem) outside one of the doors.
The really big religious festival here takes place on the 6 January – Dia de los Reyes or literally Day of the Kings (also known as Epiphany). This is the time when Spanish children receive their presents. It’s a national public holiday so no school either. Traditionally Dia de los Reyes is the more important holiday but Christmas is gaining in popularity also. Oh to be a Spanish child – two lots of presents! Dia de los Reyes marks the arrival of the three wise men, or three kings at the stable at Bethlehem bringing gifts to the baby Jesus. Hence the focus on gifts for the children.
Look out for more posts about our time here in Spain including driving Spanish style and the amazing Cuevas de Pileta.