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Today and last Sunday were 1st Holy Communion weeks across Spain. Many people were rubbing their hands together at this annual windfall .... from retailers selling the "mini bridal gowns" or sailor outfits for the boys to restaurants and photographers! Yes its BIG business here - infact, it really appears to be a trial run for the  wedding in 10-15years time ... by which stage the poor parents may possibly have paid off the bank loan.

I passed by a communion reception in Altea this afternoon - a gigantic marquee had been erected and it was themed "pirates" so I assume it was for a boy and an equally impressive bouncy castle stood beside it. The guests arriving where dressed to the nines - as if attending a wedding! Catering trucks lined the street - it was an incredible sight.

A good friend of mine has just been through this ritual for the 3rd time in the last 5 years..... 3 girls! Its no good thinking that you can pass the 500€ dress down to the others ... thats not the done thing! It has to be new. Organising the reception is another painfully expensive procedure. Go into a restaurant and say you want to book  40 people for a set lunch and you'll be told 8-10€ per head but mention the C word  and suddenly its a minimum of 25€ !

Gift buying is also a competition as to who buys the most extravagant and original present.... shops are advertising communions gifts from April onwards. Then there are the photographers to book and obviously new outfits for parents..... the list is endless!
Call me a synic but I feel that the true meaning of communion has possibly been lost to a competition of one upmanship amongst parents and who hosts the most elaborate and expensive reception in the class.

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