In Britain the Christmas celebrations are over and decorations have been taken down but in Spain the celebrations continue. January 6th, the feast of the Epiphany is a wonderful celebration. Children in Spain await the arrival of the Three Wise Men (Los Reyes Magos) and their gifts. The Three Wise Men ( Gaspar, Melchor and Baltasar) were the first non-Jewish people to worship the Son of God. It was a revelation that God was born in human form in a stable in Bethlehem. The Three Wise Men travelled back to their countries spreading the news of the Saviour’s birth.
In Spain, the Three Wise Men (Melchor, Gaspar y Baltasar) remain everybody’s favourites even though Santa Claus has grown in popularity in Spain in more recent years. They visit every town or village in a Cabalgata (parade) that lasts for hours. Well before the night falls, children of all ages gather on the side of the road looking forward to meeting the Three Wise Men and catching the thousands of sweets and toys they will throw to the public. During the night, the Wise Men deliver the Christmas presents to the children in their houses.
Another Spanish tradition at Epiphany is the Roscón de Reyes. It is a cake which has a small figure of Baby Jesus hidden inside and it represents the search by the Wise Men for Baby Jesus. Whoever finds the figure in their slice is the King or Queen for the day but whoever finds a bean has to pay for the cake the following year.
We decided to try out this Spanish Catholic tradition in school. Anita our school cook made the cake with the hidden figure of Baby Jesus inside. A child from each class was invited to take a slice of the cake. There was a lot of suspense as each slice was sifted through, with every moment visible on the big screen. The winning class was Year 6! They were very delighted to have found the Baby Jesus figure. Each class was then given the opportunity to also find this figure in pieces of cake of their own.
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