Spanish Santa Claus

From a student’s essay:

The Magi, or the Three Kings, are the Spanish version of the Santa Claus.

I’m reading this essay while discussing in an earlier thread of this blog whether it’s surprising that my students don’t know that the Jews who live in Israel today are “the same Jews” that appear in the Bible.

P.S. OK, there is more on the Magi in the essay:

The only difference between the Magi and Santa Claus is that Santa Claus comes before Christmas and the Magi after Christmas.

The student apparently has no idea of any special relationship between the Magi and Christmas.

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9 comments on “Spanish Santa Claus

  1. Christmas or Christmas Eve?

    Well actually in most of Europe Santa arrives in early December (generally somewhere between the 5th and 7th) and has nothing to do with giving presents on Christmas Day (except as an awkward attempt to match local traditions with American TV tripe).

    I’m fairly sure (if my memory isn’t too shot) that Epiphany (or dia de los reyes magos) has traditionally been more important than Christmas in Spain though the cultural power of hollywood may be changing that as well.

      • If someone is a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, their Christmas would be January 7 (the Julian calendar’s December 25). Considering that the western date is a holiday in the US and other places, maybe such a person (if they lived in the appropriate country) would get twice the celebrations!

        As an aside, nowhere in Matthew (or the rest of the Bible) does it specify three magi/kings/wise men as coming to see Jesus. There are assumed to be three magi because there are three gifts.

  2. Actually, looking forward to having the Magi or Santa Claus bringing nice and abundant food to celebrate. Feel hungry in the middle of the night with so much essay writing.

  3. Flying to Spain later. My niece directed me to Ramses to celebrate Thanksgiving there. “You won’t feel homesick”, she said. So my friend and I might end up having dinner over there. Would it be this the American way of celebrating Thanksgiving?
    This is how it looks like on internet (pictures + video)

    http://11870.com/pro/ramses-restaurante

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