Felíz Navidad (clap clap.. clap clap clap) Felíz Navidad (clap clap... clap clap clap) Felíz Navidad... Prospero Año y Felicidad.... I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas, I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of my hearrrrrtttt!!
Yes... I was too. But, I just found a nice Spanish man to describe the entire thing to me so now I understand and will pass my knowledge along. So, (a little history lesson) 12 days after Jesus was born, the 3 wise men arrived in Bethlehem bringing gifts. This 12 day festival was the foundation of the 12 days of Christmas among other things. In Spain, instead of giving gifts on Christmas Eve, on the night of January 5th, the "Three Wisemen" leave gifts at the houses for the kids. There are huge parades and fireworks and it's really like, the big day of the Christmas holiday. The significance comes from the idea that gifts are given on the same day Jesus was given gifts. They don't believe in Santa Clause and the whole idea of Christmas is extremely biblically tied. So, tonight is the Eve of Epiphany - the night the wisemen came - tomorrow kids open presents.
I found this out the hard way as I was attempting to find something to eat along one of the main streets in town. Everything is closed except there are hundreds of little booths selling little gifts, candy, cakes, fireworks and grilled potatoes. There are also thousands of people walking in the streets and many of them are lined up on either side behind ropes.
This town is beautiful. It's like an island. Everything is so tropical. The trees that line the main street are some sort of orange trees. There are literally huge orange fruits littering the sidewalk and street. The water is right here. There are huge cruise ships harbored and people in swim suits and the whole works. It also was about 65 degrees when I got here (18 celcius). Its beautiful. I got some food and ate it outside and then watched part of the parade and all the people.
It's so strange and so wonderful and I really like the idea of this tradition. There were these guys dressed up as wisemen who had little kids sitting on their laps. They were dressed just like you would imagine wisemen would look like. There was also this room where the wisemen's carriers were and you could go inside and look at them. Imagine an indian princess being carried in on a gold thing carried by like 8 arab men (think like Arabian nights style). That's exactly what they looked like. They were HUGE gold ornamented people carriers. It's out of this world. There are also camels and sheep as well as guys with the Aladdin swords and masks running around and play fighting.
It's so freaking cool.
I'm so glad that I'm going to be spending 8 days here. I may even just stay longer. I really REALLY like it here and kind of want to get comfortable. We'll see how I feel after another week.
Out for now. I'm exhausted. I almost missed my train this morning because I overslept. I woke up at 9 and my train left at 9:30 and I hadn't packed or checked out and I had to walk down to the train station. Yikes!! I made some new Aussie friends last night and they made me go out with them (of course, I didn't fight too hard) and we were out until after 4. It's remarkable how late bars stay open around here. We also had the most amazing late night: churros y chocolate. Think like regular churros, with no sugar, just fried donut bread in a star shape. Now they give you like 10 of them and then they give you a cup of literally melted chocolate. I had like 2 of them and thought I was going to be sick they were so rich. Most of the natives in the place not only finished their entire basket of churros but then they would DRINK the chocolate afterwards. They're out of control - crazy Spaniards.
Anyways, I better get to bed...
Merry Christmas... again!!
Ha ha, I get to celebrate twice!!
Maybe I should get presents twice... think about that dad ;)