Three Kings Day Celebrations
Posted January 9, 2015on:
Here in Spain the most important date in the Christmas season is not December 25. It is January 6, Epiphany, the day Three Kings from the east brought gifts to the infant Jesus. Fiesta de Los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day) starts on January 5 when the Three Wise Men arrive and parade through the streets handing out candies to all the children eagerly waiting. The parade ends at a church where the Kings become part of a human nativity scene. That night the children put out their shoes and in the morning, if they have been good all year, they find gifts from the Magi. They leave out treats for the Kings and water for the camels. (Like children in North America do for Santa Claus) There are many parties and family dinners on January 6th.
We had the pleasure of experiencing this event here on the Costa Blanca. In Torrevieja, a coastal town, the Kings, Gaspar, representing frankincense, Melchior, representing gold, and Balthazar, representing myrrh, arrived by boat. They greeted all of us in Spanish and English, waving as they passed by to join the parade.
Along with their entourage, the Kings joined the traditional Epiphany parade through town. It was quite a spectacle with a display of animals, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, Romans, Egyptians, dancers, riders and Royal pages. We enjoyed the pageantry and spirit of the evening. The excited children lined up holding out bags for the many candies they received from the participants in the parade, including the Three Kings.
Here is a sample of what we saw.
On January 6, we attended a Kings Day party around the pool and were treated to traditional Kings Day cake called Roscón. It is a sweet, large donut-shaped bread covered in glazed cherries and sugar. A plastic toy is buried inside the mixture. He or she who finds the toy gets good luck for the next year. We didn´t find a toy but enjoyed the cake and the company.
Another Spanish tradition for us to discover!
Of course it is also the end of the Christmas season as the trees and decorations are coming down and things are going back to regular routine after a month of celebration.
Happy Kings Day everyone!!