Kings Day with our Host Family
CIEE Barcelona Program: Business & Culture
Semester: Spring 2014
Home School: Indiana University
I couldn't be happier with my decision to do a home stay! I chose it originally because I really want to learn Spanish. I know it has helped immensely already because the first day of Spanish class, all the home stay kids thought it was pretty easy!
Cynthia and I live with Ana and her son (in his mid-twenties), who is usually gone but stops in every couple of days. Ana is wonderful and absolutely caters to Cynthia and me and really cares for us. She's a primary school Spanish teacher which has been a huge help with the language barrier as well- as she understands what concepts foreign speakers struggle with and can assist us.
She also has a daughter who lives in Switzerland and came to visit for three king's day which was an awesome experience. About 15 members of Ana's family came to her house for lunch... Which lasted until dinner, where we chatted and shared the interesting differences between our home towns and Barcelona. It was awesome and kind of reminded me of Thanksgiving.
Cynthia and I both got the king in our slices of the bread which was cute and exciting. And We woke up to gifts (a scarf, gloves, a book on Barcelona, and candies) from "the three kings" outside of our doors!
Ana is the sweetest and I am sincere in saying I couldn't imagine a better situation! Seeing the culture of Spain and learning the language as fast or as well simply wouldn't be possible without the home stay option and the help of Ana!
THREE KINGS DAY
What is Kings Day? Epiphany is celebrated 12 days after Christmas and marks the day the wisemen arrived in Bethleham with their gifts.
"January 6 - Dia de Los Reyes in Spanish - is virtually as important as Christmas itself in Spain, especially for kids, as this is the day when they get their presents! The fun starts the evening before, when the three kings lead their procession through the streets, throwing sweets to the children. The next morning, the children wake up to find their presents have been left overnight (rumors that Santa moonlights as the Three Kings when times are hard are unfounded). Read more about the three kings.
A popular tradition is to eat a Roscón, a sweet, donut-shaped bread (though much bigger than a donut) covered in glacier cherries and sugar. A plastic toy is buried inside the mixture, so don't dive in too quickly. He or she who finds the toy gets good luck for the next year (double the luck if they also ate the grapes on New Year's Eve!)." - From http://gospain.about.com/od/christmasinspain/f/three_kings_day.htm