Feliz Dia de Los Reyes Magos!

There are many wonderful things about the way that spanish speaking cultures celebrate Epiphany, or "Three Kings Day," which takes precedent over Christmas day as the day when the kings, who have become Santa-like figures bring children presents. Here are a few. The kings are named Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltasar (I had a friend who was crushed to discover that they are not named in the Bible.) And most representations of these Magi that I saw in Salamanca had a striking resemblance to the Burger King king from the commercials. But I really did enjoy the unique tradition, and hope to incorporate it into my family's celebration of the Christmas season. 

And now for the strangest Christmas carol/music video you have ever encountered. A popular traditional tune, "Los Peces en el Rio." English translation below.

The Fishes in the River

The Virgin is combing her hair
between the curtains.
Her hairs are of gold
and the comb of fine silver.

But look at how the fishes
in the river drink.
But look how they drink
in order to see God born.
They drink and they drink
and they return to drink,
the fishes in the river,
to see God being born.

The Virgin washes diapers
and hangs them on the rosemary,
the birdies singing
and the rosemary flowering.


The virgin is washing herself
with a little bit of soap.
Her hands have been irritated,
the hands of my heart.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

Please, if you have any insight into the meaning of this song, go ahead. Until then, I will continue assuming that it is very, very strange--yet catchy.


MaryEllen said...

I was in Brooklyn for Los Reyes Magos- The bakery had cakes in the windows etc... its so interesting ot experience the differences in the culture. Love you guys...

Anonymous said...

"Among the most popular Spanish carols is Los peces en el río, which draws a contrast between between the fishes in the river, who are excited about the birth of the baby Jesus, and the Virgin Mary, who goes about doing the chores of daily life." (http://spanish.about.com/od/spanishchristmascarols/a/peces_rio.htm)