Food

Three King’s Day – Spanish Christmas Traditions and Treats

The Three King’s Day or el Día de los Reyes as it is called in Spain is the climax and ending of the Christmas season. It commemorates the visit of the three Magi Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar bringing gifts in form of gold, frankincense and myrrh to baby Jesus and celebrating the manifestation of Christ to the world. On January 5th there are long processions recreating the Three King’s journey to Bethlehem called Cabalgata de los Magos (you can find videos on YouTube should you be interested) all over Spanish cities. During those processions the Three King’s throw sweets and little presents. After the processions children go home, clean their shoes and leave them out for the Three Kings to give them presents the following day. Traditionally children would only receive presents on Three King’s Day, although Santa Clause or Papá Noel is gaining popularity and they often receive presents on Christmas as well. Due to Christmas not being over all Christmas decorations are still up or even growing due to the after Christmas sales. What do you think of this tradition? I always thought that it makes more sense than receiving presents on Christmas itself although it probably depends on “who” brings the presents. All the traditions seem pretty muddled these days.

As this is the final day of the Christmas season, at least for me, I thought I would use this opportunity to introduce you to some classic Spanish Christmas cookies as Three King’s Day is the finale. Once more I attempted making Spanish Christmas cookies, which are quite unique in comparison to other Christmas cookies you may know.

Alfajores

I am not even sure whether or not you would consider them cookies as you don’t bake them. They are made out of stale bread, nuts, honey and spices covered in powdered sugar. They are ridiculously sweet.

Rosco de Vino

Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you might read and understand the word vino and think that has to be a typo. It isn’t. One of the most popular Christmas cookies is made with sweet dessert wine called moscatel, anís dulce and olive oil. Therefore they are completely vegan if you make sure to use vegan wine.

Polvorones

Polvorones is a type of mantecado made from roasted flour, ground almonds, powdered sugar, cinnamon and lard. Once baked they are these very delicate biscuits or cookies that fall apart in your mouth almost like a delicious powder. I tried to make them vegan because I hate lard but it does not taste the same, exchanging it with olive oil turns them into rock hard biscuits that could rival Hagrid’s rock cakes.

Hopefully you have had lovely holidays, whatever you celebrate or not. Have you ever heard of any of these biscuits? I’d really love to know what you think. Have a wonderful day.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s