Archive for January 6th, 2011
There’s A Bolied Sweet In My Ear, It Must Be Reyes Eve

As the shower of sweets rained down I had to keep reminding myself that this was a gesture of goodwill from the 3 Kings as they rode through Los Cristianos. Children, and a fair few adults, formed a festive scrum on the pavement trying to grab a few of the stray sweets that hadn’t been caught and squeals of delight rose above the sound of the marching band that headed the procession. Aah christmas Spanish style is always a delight.

Walking into town the supermarkets were heaving with shoppers topping up on food ahead of the big day Reyes Janaury 6th, and the bakers were doing a roaring trade in Roscons, the traditional ring shaped christmas cake stuffed with cream, fruit and many other tasty variations. My timing was good as the procession had started pretty well as advertised at 7.15 pm from the port. Every vantage point on the harbour wall was taken and the street leading up to town was lined with expectant families. I squeezed into a good spot and waited as the procession approached, much bigger this year and with more groups of children in fancy dress and the usual fire jugglers, acrobats and musicians.

The kings were as always the star attraction, Gaspar, Melchor and Balthazar arrived perched on their camels and spraying great handfuls of sweets to their eager fans. All over Tenerife similar scenes were taking place, in Adeje the kings arrived by helicopter and in Santa Cruz they were holding court in CD Tenerife’s Heliodoro ground. The Reyes tradition marks the arrivsal of the original 3 kings at the stable in Bethlehem with their gifts for the new born baby, sadly this year someone stole the baby Jesus from the crib in Santa Cruz. The camels are always remarkably calm for their annual pilgrimage through the streets but then these are showbiz camels, they probably have their own agent to negotiate their fee.

As the parade turned into Avenida de Suecia the crowds grew even bigger and I had to duck and dive my way through to get some pics as the kings headed towards the cultural centre and their thrones. It was quite cramped as police tried to keep people out of the direct path of the camels and it was a living hell for me to be pushed up against all those young yummy mummys but I stood firm. The arrival at the cultural centre plaza and the dismount of the kings is always a slow process so I adjourned to The Devon Arms for some Dorada and made my way slowly to the plaza. The kings had taken their place on their thrones and were engulfed in a sea of small children, some with parents, waiting to take their turn to meet a king and receive a present, this year wasn’t quite as well marshalled, last year children were invited forward a group at a time but now it was a tidal wave of toddlers. The goats and chickens were taking it all in their stride in their barn area so with a long magical night ahead I popped off for a few beers on my way home.