May: A month of First Communions in Spain

Right after Easter, many families in Spain celebrate la Primera Comunión (First Communion) of their children. During the Sundays of the month of May it is easy to see around the churches of cities and small towns groups of children elegantemente vestidos (very elegantly dressed). Most girls llevan vestidos de comunión (wear communion gowns) that echo los trajes de novia (wedding gowns). Many boys llevan traje de marinero (wear sailor suits) – the reason why is widely unknown. Some children van vestidos de particular (wear “non formal” clothes): The girls wear vestidos (dresses) and the boys traje de chaqueta (suit) or pantalón y camisa (pants and shirt).

Spain is a very Catholic country and most of us remember el día de nuestra Primera Comunión (the day of our First Communion). I remember that I felt like a “princesa por un día” (princess for one day) because I had been the center of attention for many weeks and months. I remember visiting la modista (the dressmaker) with my mother many times until the dress was ready. The fashion in those times dictated that girls wore un gorro (a bonnet) tied with un lazo (a bow with ribbon). I remember the contact of my mother´s hands in my cheeks while she was making the bow. It has to go on one side – she said. The day of the Primera Comunión is a memory that lasts.