There is nothing more traditional than the Roscón de Reyes, or at least that’s what we feel when – when the day comes – we go to a pastry shop, we get one and we fight with the rest of the family to get him to touch us the piece. in which comes the prize to be the king of the day. However, as with many other Christmas traditions and habits, that we eat roscón is an imported matter and a hit of almost good marketing and good positioning. Christmas is one of those times of the year that are crucial for brands and companies, as our spending barrier becomes much higher than during the rest of the year. During Christmas, consumers spend much more money than at other times of the year thanks to family gatherings Belgium Mobile Database – which increase spending on food and drink – and the holidays. In this last point, we spend on party clothes, accessories or parties and dinners away from home, as happens at New Year’s Eve, but also on other issues, such as gifts.
Christmas is the time to celebrate by exchanging gifts. According to Deloitte statistics for this Christmas, Spaniards will spend an average of 633 euros per head, an amount that exceeds the figures of previous years and that also represents a comparative record. “For the first time, Spain will surpass the United Kingdom in spending intention for this Christmas, going to lead the ranking of European countries surveyed”, they conclude in the presentation of data from the study. The budget is divided between the purchase of gifts (€ 252), followed by food (€ 195), travel (€ 106) and leisure (€ 80).
For this reason, Christmas is a crucial moment in the sales strategy of brands and a decisive one for consumers as well. For these, many times they feel that Christmas has become something ultra-commercial and that they have moved away from the spirit of what they were … forgetting that they have actually been celebrating a most commercial party for over 100 years, a party that is such as it is right now mainly thanks to the impact of department stores . How the roscón started as a ‘rich’ thing And so you can go back to the story we started with, about how the Roscón de Reyes broke into the life of the Spanish and became a classic tradition. At the end of the 19th century, the roscón was actually a fashion, as Jesús Cruz Valenciano recalls in The Emergence of Bourgeois Culture (Siglo XXI Editores).
“For some time now, it has become fashionable in Spain to celebrate the feast of the Kings in the following way: for desserts, a child dressed as a page in the style of the Middle Ages enters the dining room with a sliced cake covered with a white canvas “, they point out in Elegance in social treatment , a manual of good manners of the time, as they collect in the essay Brother Cell Phone List. The well-to-do classes had imported the custom and by contagion it reached the other social strata. In this, possibly there would also be a good marketing strategy for the pastry shops. As Cruz Valenciano recalls, the court did take the French ‘gâteau des Rois’ (the roscón de reyes of the French) because the royal family was of French origin and had maintained the custom, but it had not come from there.
Society in general would not copy it until the roscón appeared in the manuals of good manners, says Jesús Cruz Valenciano, which served to spread many habits of consumption and life. The media began to talk about the cake and how it was increasing in popularity and you can also find advertisements that talk about the cake. As you recall in an article in El Comidista , the Madrid pastry shop La Mallorquina may also have had a role in fashion, which began to make this type of cake in the second half of the 19th century after signing a French pastry chef. Other patisseries were launching into the production of the cake and the fashion was jumping from Madrid to the rest of Spain. Hence, to fame and forced. In an article about a meal for Kings of 1910, it is already mentioned how the hostess “gave splendidly and delicately with a well-served lunch and the obligatory roscón de Reyes.”
In a contest for its readers in 1913, the newspaper El Imparcial already spoke of “it is an unmemorable custom in Spain that the classic roscón is eaten in the midst of general algazara. At that time, roscón was a classic of Christmas meals such as stuffed turkey and almond soup (which was the traditional menu that ministers ate in 1917). Perhaps the roscón is the most surprising of the traditions that we have assumed thanks to a good merchant strategy, but it is not the only one. The Kings and their gifts, not so old Some of the basic issues that mark our spending during these dates are also quite recent. You just have to think about the Three Wise Men. In an advertisement published in the early 1990s in El Liberal , an advertisement includes this claim. “Mom, what are the Kings bringing this year?
Gift boxes for 15 cents” and she invites us to go to La Criolla, on Preciados street in Madrid to get them. The gifts of Kings began in the middle of the 19th century and, as Francisco José Gómez Fernández (Nowtilus) explains in Brief History of Christmas , linked to products associated with each of the Kings. Melchor gave clothes, Gaspar sweets and Baltasar charcoal. The Kings, yes, did not receive letters with the children’s instructions in those first moments. Gómez Fernández puts the beginning of the letters in the first four of the 20th century and the truth is that – if the newspapers of the time are analyzed (the BNE Digital Newspaper Library is perfect for this) – there are no mentions of the letter to the Three Wise Men until the first decades of the 20th century in tales and stories for children.
The Kings parades – that other great classic – are also from the 19th century and its popularity stretches between the 19th and 20th centuries. Something similar happened (more or less) with the New Year’s Eve grapes. Whether we should take grapes for the result of a very effective marketing campaign by their producers is a question that experts debate. It is almost part of the legend that the consumption of grapes is linked to an overproduction of this fruit (in Brief History of Christmas by Francisco José Gómez Fernández this is indicated, for example) although the presence of grapes can be found in the media of the time already at the end of the 19th century, when it was already mentioned that they were eaten in Madrid (the aforementioned article by El Comidista talks about it and here in a more specific way its author, Ana Vega, gives more information).
They were eaten in a variety of ways, without yet the fixed number of twelve, but already with the idea that they were lucky. Importing the Christmas tree And, finally, also the classic Christmas tree, that tradition that is present in a massive way in homes, arrived via import and copy to the ‘influencers’ of the moment. Prince Albert took him out of Germany by marrying Queen Victoria. From the United Kingdom it was reaching other countries and other markets by copy. The rich and well-to-do were bringing the custom as something to the last and from there it went viral to more and more people. In Spain, it was Sofía Troubetzkoy, aristocrat of the Spain of the Restoration and social queen, who put the first Christmas tree in her palace in Madrid.