Friday, January 6, 2012

The Three Kings

There is huge excitement in the village, it is January 5 and the Three Kings arrive at six tonight. We are there shortly before then to hear Catalan music being piped through the town's speakers. Families are walking towards the dock in front of the adjutement (town hall). Many of the children have multi-coloured, home made paper lanterns with lights inside. Finally, after much anticipation the lights of the coast guard boat can be seen advancing across the darkened harbor, guiding in three smaller boats bearing the three kings. Their arrival is heralded by a fire works display over the marina.

The first llaud -- as the ubiquitous local fishing boats are called --  arrives with the White King and his entourage, another llaud transports the Rose King and then finally the Black King arrives. The kings make their way to the adjutement balcony taking plenty of time to greet the many children. After a few words by the mayor, and greetings from each king, we all move off down the street to the town's main indoor gathering space, a gym over the supermarket.

The three kings and their helpers sit on the stage while families gather in front of them, quickly filling the small gym. Then the MC begins calling the names of every child in the village, beginning with the youngest, inviting them up to the stage to receive a gift from one of the kings.

It is a lovely evening (no tramuntana wind to spoil the festivities), with it seems the whole town turning out to celebrate and have fun.

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