Sunday, January 06, 2008

Three Shall Be the Number Thou Shalt Count

Welcome to Christmas, Part II: The Never Ending Story. Today is Three Kings Day, which is as big, if not bigger than Christmas for Mexican kids. (Baby Jesus got his [except for the gold, crappy] gifts on this day, so they do, too.) Probably the best way to illustrate of the importance of 3KD is with the picture below, from one of the plazas in Querétaro. Every year, they set up an instant photo studio where kids can get their pictures takes with the Kings or with Santa Claus. At left are the Kings, looking a little like the Beatles deplaning at Idlewild, while the guy in the red suit is about as popular as Michael Vick. After several weeks of being shunned by pre-teen children, the poor out-of-work actor can't even muster the strength to fake being jolly.

Not content to merely write demand letters to the nonexistent present-bearers, Mexican kids traditionally attach their wish lists to helium balloons (the streets were full of vendors yesterday, selling balloons with "Dear Three Kings" on them) and release them into the sky. The balloons letter wind up inside the bellies of marine animals, which then die, wash up on the beach and decompose - after which the Three Kings come along and pick up their letters from among the carcasses. Those that are still legible get their wishes granted. It's a very strange little holiday.

Plus, Special Holiday Bonus Video! Not the best example of Spanish rap out there, but if, like me, you've ever wanted to see Santa Claus gunned down in an alleyway, here's your chance.

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