Dia de los Reyes

Day Of The Kings. Day Of The Sales

by Becky on January 8, 2013

in Fashion, Fun, Traditions, Travel


Sunday, January 6th, was Dia de los Reyes–Day of the Magi. Much like our Christmas holiday in the states, Dia de los Reyes is big. Really big. A huge event. That’s when the children receive their big gifts. That’s when families have their big reunions. (Are we hearing the word “big” in all its grand significance here??)

For us, in contrast, it was a quiet day.

Then. Monday, January 7th–yesterday–was day of the sales. As in, big sales. A huge event. Like after-Christmas sales back home, but on steroids. So the girls and I headed out, and I can tell you that it was not a quiet day. All of Barcelona went shopping. By 3 pm I was done trying to muscle my way through stores and along the boulevards, and we took off for home.

You have not ever properly shopped during a sale until you have competed for space in a small boutique with many well-heeled, smartly dressed Catalan women who would just as soon see you deported as give up their spot by a sale rack. I mean no disrespect. I was rather in awe of them, I have to confess. I thought I was good. Back home, I can work the sales like a pro. Here, it’s a blood sport: if you don’t know what you’re after and how badly you want it, forget it. I plan to begin practicing the art of “the move aside,” where a stunning Catalana, for example, will put her (well manicured) hand on the small of your back and literally move you out of her way while offering a coolly polite “Perdon,” which, though it literally means “Excuse me” or “Pardon me,” in this case means “If you know what’s good for you, you will move aside, NOW.”

We did score a few great things: lots of highly unusual, patterned tights and knee-highs, definitely the rage here, and half off. They’ll work brilliantly for Miss Lavender, who will be attending college in a mighty cold place next year. And a brick red, Edwardian style felt hat for Miss Zinnia, who adores hats almost as much as she adores delighting us with her cathedral songs. A few other sundries as well, great deals, all. What we did not get on sale was our (I say “our” because we’re sharing them) new pair of Kokua ballet flats, handmade here in Barcelona. Dark grey with a chartreuse toe, they are about the happiest, coolest things you’ve ever seen, and I will no doubt slide them on next year when I am back in HB and cannot find a medieval city in which to roam or a Mediterranean beach on which to hunt for beach glass, just so I can remind myself that yes, I lived here.

The trick with January 7th sales: since everyone’s out “disfrutando las rebajas” (enjoying the sales), you’ve gotta act fast . . . or it’s gone!

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