ONE of the major religious and social events for any Spanish Catholic child and their family is the taking of the first Holy Communion.
It’s an important event which traditionally takes place just after Easter and is a source of important income for a whole range of businesses of all types throughout Spain.
Tradition calls for the boys and girls to be treated as if they are publicly accepting God now that they have reached the age of reason at between eight and nine years of age having learned their catechism and made their first confession.
Girls generally wear white dresses to symbolise that they are now Brides of Christ and many boys are dressed in pristine sailor suits (up to the imaginary rank of Admiral) to show that they will now navigate life to the secure port of Jesus.
All of this comes at a considerable cost although some enterprising charity shops, alert to the problems that many families have experienced due to the pandemic are appealing for donations of dresses to then sell on to this year’s band of communion takers.
Normally, the communion sees large numbers of friends and family flocking to the local church which might have as many as 10 children in one of up to three sessions receiving communion and then it’s time to party with everyone invited to lunch at a nearby restaurant.
Those invited either chip in with a cash amount or a gift for the child who is the centre of attraction for the day.
Last year, communions were postponed to much later in the year although in 2021, they are beginning to take place although in a much more restrained manner recognising numbers allowed and social distancing.
Those selling the uniforms will probably see their income restored but with fewer able to attend, toy shops and restaurants are going to see their share of the communion money reduced, although hopefully not as badly as in 2020 and some parents will be holding back with the celebrations to see what is allowed after May 9.