La Cabalgata

7 Jan

¡Feliz dia de los tres Reyes! And Happy Three Kings Day to those of you who didn’t understand the first part! Well, technically it was yesterday – January 6 – but I couldn’t possibly have written yesterday because I was far too busy opening my presents, eating king cake and nursing my hangover from the mass amounts of sweets that were eaten at the Cabalgata.

So what, you may ask yourself, is a cabalgata?

The cabalgata could most easily be described as a parade held every 5th of January in honor of the Three Kings (or Three Wise Men as we would probably call it!). The most famous cabalgata takes place in Madrid, but there are parades of all sizes that take place all over the cities and pueblos of Spain. Here in Lucena, people spend months decorating floats that take to the streets, accompanied by bands and of course the Three Kings themselves – Baltazar, Melchor, and Gaspar -each with their own elaborate float. 

Keep in mind that these were the guys that brought gifts to baby Jesus, so they always bring gifts with them to throw out at the parade. Forgoing the traditional gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, modern day gifts usually include balls, stuffed animals and many many “caramelos” or sweets.

After a long night at the parade, the excited kids go home and eagerly await the arrival of the Kings the next day, being sure to leave out some cookies and snacks for the Kings and a little water for their camels too, of course. For most kids in Spain, January 6th is when they get their Christmas presents, although some now get gifts from santa on Christmas Day.

Another tradition that accompanies Three Kings Day is King Cake or rosca de reyes. This round cake usually comes with gifts hidden inside for the people who are lucky enough to get a slice with a gift. My gift this year? A little figurine of Maggie Simpson. Now that’s what I call lucky!

Today’s Word: Cabalgata (n.): Three Kings Parade; as in: “Hope you don’t get a cavity after eating all the sweets you caught at the cabalgata!”

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4 Responses to “La Cabalgata”

  1. mom January 7, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    hope you also didn’t get a broken tooth from Maggie Simpson…haha. You are so lucky!!!

  2. Grandma and Grandpa January 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm #

    Such an interesting account of The Three Kings Celebration. I’ve heard that it is as big as our Christmas. The Spanish are big on celebrating MANY events, aren’t they?

    I just talked to your Dad – UC LOST – down to the wire – but lost to St. John’s.
    The Bengals are on now in Houston. I don’t like to watch football – brutal, so many RULES and constant delays.

    JC returned to Orlando Thursday and already, LaCrosse and Ultimate Frisbee have begun. He may not play next year, course loads – greater…..could change, time will tell.
    Aunt Arianne drove to Waco to meet Brittnee. They must make reservations, deposits etc on housing NEXT year. Baylor Sports are really impressive – girls soccer included. Brittnee has also gotten into a sorority – there’s a term for that, but escapes me. Aunt Arianne always belonged to a sorority…..Brook dropped Comm College, had a temporary jib. lost that one but now may get into Garland School district doing something. Both parents are in the GSD. Jan 17, Brett will start at the Community College near home. Had a 3.3 for the semester at Texas Tech in Lubbock – just did not like it there – 6 hours from home.

    Aaron is back in Louisville, is having a good experience. Aunt Ann and Frannie are very excited about Frannie’s visit to see you. Aunt Ann is a bit envious, I think.

    Thanks for writing, Ola – Grandma

  3. nicole Feldman January 8, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    Thats more like the blogging emily i know 😉 Sounds great! Wish I could have been their with you. Ask Will if he found Bart in his sausage pizza! that would be ominous! love you. miss you. glad your having such an amazing experience!

  4. Elizabeth Lonneman January 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    The cabalgata sounds like fun! Insted of Kings Cake at our school on Mardi Gras, we find little baby figures in our cake if we are lucky.Unfortunately, we do not find Maggie Simpson. We are going to read the Christmas cards from your class on Monday! I miss you!
    Hope you had a Happy Three Kings Day!

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