Last night it was the Cabalgata de Reyes Magos - this happens in towns and cities all across Spain. Here (until more recent years, when Santa Claus began to get in first!) according to tradition, the Three Kings (or Wise Men) bring presents. Makes sense - they brought the gifts of gold, frankinsense and myrrh to Baby Jesus, so the logic is that children (who've been good) get their gifts on 6th January. So on the eve of the 6th (Twelfth Night - or what you will..) there is a fantastic procession as the Kings arrive.
In La Flecha, it was due to arrive in the main square at 8pm. It was raining a bit and so there was even some doubt around as to whether they would even bother coming! How dreadful would that be? However, news reached us that they would indeed be making the journey, despite the weather.
Now, this being Spain - and us being a bit too English - we missed the procession! Things always happen later than advertised here - always. I tend to want to arrive on time - I don't enjoy waiting for ages but I don't like to be late. So at 7.55pm (OK, I'm being very English about it) we set off to make the one minute hop to the square... and met everyone else going in the opposite direction. The Cabalgata had passed already - I guess they didn't want to hang about in the rain, but were hot-tractoring it to the Plaza de Toros.
So we decided to do the same - just to get a glimpse.
I have never seen so many people in La Flecha!
It was packed and we were all herding into a bullring. I admit feeling a tad nervous.
But we hung on to our children and stuck to the side of the ring until we found a little hidden entrance to a safer place - where the bull fighters hide when necessary!
We could only just make out the stage where the Three Kings were taking the orders from small children.
There was an enormous queue forming in the middle of the plaza as people waited to get hot chocolate that was being served. We don't like queuing so stayed put, listening to the band and picking up sweets that were being thrown around, until like magic itself, los abuelos turned up in front of us with steaming cups of chocolate and sponge cakes to dip in! (They knew the right people, obviously!)
After the chocolate, we decided to go down to the plaza and go on the dodgems 'one last time' - again. On the way, we found the abandoned Cabalgata and the children had fun finding sweets that had been left behind.
|I think this one is for Belshazzar (or Baltasar as he's known here)|
|Romy trying on a throne for size|
|Now, is this Melchior's float from very northern Europe?|
Or is it Gaspar's from Asia? Huskies originate in Siberia, so it could be Gaspar's.
(I should have thought to take a picture of the last one too! Then I could have made a more educated guess.)
Have another closer look at this one instead!
The children had fun. And came home with pockets full of sweets.
And as this is the last post from here, I couldn't go without sharing some of the images that surround us here.
Hanging outside the back door at the moment are dead chickens (SO SORRY to the chicken lovers who read!)...
and also little piggy feet, dangling daintily against the window.
Life will not be quite the same when we move - life will never be quite like it has been for the past few months!! I will miss it - the chaos, the hilarity, the 'manicness' of some days - we have really lived here, no two ways about it.
It seems fitting that this should be the 'last post' as we take our leave. Historically, the last post was played on a bugle to signify the end of the day - be it day's hard work or day of fighting. I can't speak for what a day's fighting feels like as it ends, but I know that at the end of a day of hard work, there is a sense of satisfaction, of peace and, I must say it, of relief.
The end of just another day, yes, but also the end of a very special period of time that we will treasure forever.