Thursday, January 3, 2019

El Heraldo desfilará por San Jacinto

The big day of the Christmas season in Spain is Jan 6th, The Epiphany. It largely commemorates the arrival of the three kings in the manger story of Jesus. This is when people in Spain exchange gifts--not on Christmas Day as in the US. There are big parades around town on Jan 5th and Jan 6th. Free candy is thrown to children, bands, floats, the whole nine yards. There are also smaller processions that herald the coming of the three kings. We've had a couple of them in our neighborhood today. Small processions, candy, a band, folks on horseback.

Though there is little in the bible about the three kings (only in Matthew), many artistic renderings have one of the kings (Balthazar) with dark skin. There is little to no factual information about the skin tone of any of the kings. However, folks here in Spain certainly fall into the category of people that think Balthazar had dark skin. So much so in fact, that the people in the parades playing the role of Balthazar will wear black face, as seen here:

This would be wildly controversial in the US. Here, however, it seems to be expected. Even the child riding with this "Balthazar" is wearing black face. Different cultures, different norms.


One of the little toy shops in our neighborhood always has a fun shop window display. This one shows a little mock up of the three kings parade as it crosses our bridge. See Laura's blog for a full photo. I was intrigued by the construction of the bridge and chapel. All of it is 3d printed. A novel and fun application of 3d printing:


We went to the grocery store at 4pm today. Practically deserted. I think we found our new regular  shopping time:


This evening we went to the craft/artisan market at Plaza Nueva. Some nice work on display. One of the booths was of a printmaker from Triana (right down the block from us). We may buy a print to bring back to the US with us. We'll have to drop into the shop and have a look around:


Emily made it back to Santa Barbara and reunited with her bunny. Some experiments that she left while visiting us here for the past 10 days seem to have turned out well. She's already back in the lab checking results.

Rachel is having fun with Emily G. in Tangier. She's been sending us lots of pictures. She even managed to reunite with a friendly dog that we encountered in the medina when we were there. She gets back to Sevilla on Sat.