Sunday was a very unusual day for us – so typical, though, of our life in Spain. We had been invited to the first communion celebration of “little Miguel”, the son of our good friend Juanjo, who owns our favourite restaurant in Yunquera – the Miguelín y Miguel.
We had observed many such celebrations in the 8 years we’ve lived here, but had never attended one. They are a really, really, big deal in Spain, the first communion – you really wouldn’t believe it if you hadn’t seen them before. The first communion is held when the child is around 10 years old, after they have taken classes to teach them about the church, and after their first confession.
The church activities come first. And then? A huge party, with a special outfit for the child, a big meal, huge cake, dancing and so on. It’s a celebration usually reserved for family and very close friends, so for a couple of non-believers and foreigners to boot, it was an honour to be invited.
In the continuing tradition of our activities here, Kenton and I were totally confused most of the time. It felt like we had arrived too late, because everyone was already sitting down and eating. But we had arrived 30 minutes before the stated time. Huge sweet confections were carried around by the special children. We didn’t know why. Gifts were given out by the communioned (sic) children. Gifts were given to the same children. We gave a gift, too – a book about the Indians in the US. We figured that most young boys are interested in Indians to some degree, and there were only a few English words – a bit of practice for Miguel when his English lessons start.
Everyone knew the routine but us – not an unusual event! We left 5 hours after we arrived – with the dancing still going strong, and probably carrying on until the wee hours. And we felt so honoured to be guests of our friends for this very special occasion.