We use to have a formal dinner with friends or and family, the menu is often some seafood , then it depends on where in Spain you live, the main dish is fish or meat, the dessert use to be any home made speciality, and then we count down for 12 p.m. , everybody has a glass with 12 grapes, and you have to eat one on each ringing until 12. This can be quite difficult,as you at the same time must do your most important wishes for the year that begins, and somebody always start to laugh. You might have seen in every fruit stand, lots of grapes, and a sign that says " uvas de la suerte" ( the grapes of the luck).
If you have watched television these days, you se all cities and villages ring the new year in from a square, normally where the town hall is situated, people congregate with small bags of 12 grapes, specially the youngsters, there is always wery crowded.
And then we wish each other happy new year with a glass of cava ( or two).
Now is when the young people go for their "cotillion", all party dressed, and the party goes on until breakfast, when they meet with all friends for chocolate and churros, then you can see the girls, when they left home with 16 cm. high heeled shoes, now with flat shoes or sneakers on, but the party dress is still there.
1st of January is a pyjama day, we listen to and see the New Years Concert from Wiena, but the rest of the day is only relax.
Then you have the 28th of December wich is the day you can deceive anybody, it's quite fun to figure out what was in the newspaper and in the TV, and always some friend that cheats you.
And now it comes to the most important day for the children, The Magi, the 3 Kings, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar,will come and every town has a big cavalcade of magi, a traditional parade of kings coaches, you must have seen if you are or have been to Spain on the 5th of January,
The page boys throw out caramels, in Granada this year, 15 tons of them, 1000 people participate in the parade, and everybody comes to see and pick up the sweets.
This night the children go ealy to bed after having their shoes or boots cleand,and set by the door, we also put a tray with some cakes and cookies, 3 glasses of liqueur and a big bucket of water for the camels. ( before bed time we parents had to eat the cookies, drink the liqueur and throw out some of the water from the bucket, and the children really thinks ( well?) they have been there)
The tradition is to eat the "Roscon de Reyes", for breakfast on the 6th, with hot chocolate, you might have seen it in any bakery, supermarket, sweets shop, like a giant bagel, filled with cream and decorated with frosted fruits, and a crown in the middle.
Inside they put a little kings figure, and the one who get it always gets the crown from the top of the cake, and then there is a dry fava bean and the one who gets it must pay for the "roscon".
This is the end of the Spanish X-mas celebrations, today all x-mas decor is stored for next x-mas, and the big "Rebajas" has started, the january sales.
And I will come back with some healthy foodie as soon as I can.
Hope the 3 Magi didn`t bring you coal.