After leaving the Magi with the children in the carpark opposite the school, we found them again a few hours later on the High Street, not long after they had visited Mary, Joseph and Jesus. Unfortunately we missed the moment of them giving their gifts, so I cannot share whether or not they actually left gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. However Gaspar was handing out candy to the many locals who were following!
As we joined them the Magi were commencing their journey home, but not before taking they took a detour to say hello to the Mayor of Olhão. The mayor looked quite bemused when he finally appeared, but he did at least show respect to the three Magi by bowing deeply. Once welcomed, the entourage took over the proceedings, as they had in the morning, with dancing, juggling and that strange story again.
It was very evident, this time, from the acting that the Roman killed the man but why this happens I still have no idea. Interestingly the afternoon audience, which was mostly adults, cheered when the Roman won. I think preferred it when the children supported the underdog. The story was definitely not a variation on the telling of the ‘Massacre of Innocents’ so for now I think we’ll just have to remain bemused until such time I can chat with a local who can enlighten us. I had no problems though understanding the jugglers.
The morning was certainly a more joyous affair as there were more children present then, but this afternoon’s activities were still great fun. After all it is not every day in western Europe that you will see Magi and their camels making their way down a high street!
Having had such a wonderful experience we have been reading up on Dia dos Rei, and it is obvious that it is quite a special festival in Portugal. Not as big as in Spain but still very much celebrated across the country with everyone eating Bolo-Rei and the children wearing paper crowns. In rural areas there is still a tradition for local people to get together and sing songs. Once they walked from house to house but these days I believe it more usual to congregate in a local hall or school. If we are here next year we think we might visit one of the smaller villages as not only does it sound great fun, but I’m not sure Gaspar will allow us to join them again in Olhão. He certainly didn’t share with me any candy after taking this shot! It was though a wonderful day, so much joy and glorious sunshine. There was even a little bit of a sunset as everyone walked down to the harbour to say farewell to the Magi and their very tired entourage. Wishing you all a joyful and healthy 2017.
PS Did you notice this is a Six Word Saturday! Have no idea what everyone else has been up to this week but if you enjoy reading random posts then do follow the link for a bit of fun.