Saturday, 4 January 2014

The arrival of the Royal Herald

The long awaited day is almost upon us, tomorrow the Three Wizard Kings will arrive to Spain to give presents to the children who have been good and coal to those who have been naughty. However before their arrival they need the help of somebody else: the Royal Herald or the Heraldo Real. His job is to go around the streets of Seville and collect the key to the city and give it to the Kings. His huge entourage of Bedouins will collect all the letters the children wrote to Caspar, Melchior or Balthazar. This year we were there to see it too.

It’s a great thing that the route of the Heraldo was long as there were lots of people, especially children waiting to see him. We were standing on the side of the road with many excited people waiting for the spectacle. The rows were three people deep, the first consisting of children clutching containers or plastic bags, the second of their parents who were pushing their offspring to the front, and the last row was filled with spectators like us who didn't want to get any sweets and just wanted to see what happens.

Finally the drums in the distance were growing louder and we saw the first people in the procession. They were policemen on horses trying to clear away the crowd form the road.

Then some other people came all wearing suits, I guess they are Seville’s public figures.

After them came the first band with lots of members who kept greeting their friends on the side of the street, stepping over to give a kiss or say hello.

Then came the crowd of Bedouins who were interestingly represented by people with their faces painted brown! They seemed to be a happy bunch, wore colourful clothes and laughed at everybody. They all had two bags on their shoulders full of sweets which they gave out to the children.

Behind them came a huge colourful box, this is where all the letters to the Kings went.

Then finally the Heraldo! He had a few Bedouins escorting him on horseback. He threw loads of sweets left and right.

Then another band closed the procession.

By the time everybody left the street was covered with sweets. The little girl in front of me filled her plastic bag with lots of yummy things. We have here the ones we collected, too.

Not far after the band came the 'cleaning-up gang' who spirited away the leftover sweets and empty wrappings.

This was only a 'teaser', the main event will happen tomorrow. 

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