It’s the 5th of January, Father Christmas has ‘been’, everybody has drank and eaten themselves stupid, New Years resolutions have been made and broken already and all the folks at home are getting ready to take down their decorations.
Just when you think it’s all over the fiesta crazy Spanish pull out all the stops and put on the mother of all street parties to celebrate the coming of ‘The Kings’. Without doubt one of our favourite days in the Spanish calender - and this year was no exception.
The day started with our first sail of 2012. A lovely sunny day with light winds, it was the perfect opportunity to practice using our spinnaker pole to boom out the genoa. We really need to get used to using this for better downwind sailing, and with Richards’ expert guidance we got to grips with it pretty quickly and were soon bowling along.
Back on our berth we had just enough time to grab a late lunch before heading into town to see the arrival of ‘The Kings’.
It all starts at the town hall where the kings appear in the company of local dignitaries, lots of speeches, then an offering to the nativity scene, all to a chorus of songs from the local junior school choir. It’s all a bit drawn out, but as the crowds gather the feeling of anticipation from the kids is palpable.
Once all the officialdom is over, it’s the bit they’ve all been waiting for. The ‘Kings’ get loaded onto floats and are paraded round the streets throwing sweets into the masses. Kids (and grown ups too) screaming and waving to get their attention – it’s absolute mayhem. The poor kings must get arm ache with all that throwing, there are enough sweets to ‘sink a ship’. The delight on the kids faces is fantastic, but not so pleasant when a huge shower of hard boiled sweets hits you on the head.
The parade lasts for 4 hours, and culminates around 9.30pm in the Plaza Espana where a big stage is erected. The kings then come onto the stage and the party really starts. This time not just throwing sweets, but also gifts to the waiting crowd. It’s all a bit crazy with kiddies shrieking, scrabbling around picking up sweets and adults ‘jostling’ to catch a prize.
We were determined to bag a prize this year. With the boys capturing it all on film, it was left to me and Amanda to join the scrum, but we were no match for these ‘pushy parents’ who were jumping higher and higher, diving, and pushing to grab the booty for their little niño’s & niña ‘s.
Just because I’m from Yorkshire it doesn’t mean I’m any good in a scrum, but I do know a retired rugby player back home who’ll be reading this from the comfort of his armchair and thinking ‘If I’d have been there I’d have got something‘….. yes Dad you probably would