The Three Kings in Spain
Although for most of our readers, Christmas is over – it certainly isn’t in Spain. The Three Kings is one of Spain’s most popular events and takes place on the 5th and 6th January each year.
In Spain, the day of the Three Kings is known as El Día de Los Reyes Magos and has been celebrated since 1885. It marks the arrival of the Three Wise Men (or Three Kings) as they followed the North Star to visit the baby Jesus in the Bible’s nativity story.
The Three Kings came with gifts of gold, frankinsence and myrrh and today the gifts are represented by distributing sweets and goodies to the children of Spain.
Spanish children write letters to the Three Kings, ust as your kiddies may write to Father Christmas. They may also leave their shoes outside their door on the night of the 5th, in the hopes that they are filled with treats on the morning of the 6th.
Depending on where you are in Spain, the Three Kings arrive in the town on the evening of the 5th on horseback, by camel, on carnival floats, or even by tractor. This is called the Cabalgata de Los Reyes Magos and is a very popular and busy event.
If you are attending, then be prepared for a “free for all” because not only children but also adults will be scrabbling to grab the goodies that are thrown by the kings.
Roscón de Reyes
This is not the only part of the event though. Traditionally, you would eat a Roscón de Reyes for breakfast on the morning of the 6th January (as if the kids haven’t had enough sugar the previous evening).
The Roscón is a ring shaped cake, decorated with fruit and nuts, sometimes sliced lengthways and filled with cream… and which contains two extra items. Tradition has it that if you get a slice with the King figurine, then you will have good luck for the whole year. However, make sure you have your wallet at the ready – because if you get the “bean” then you have to stump up cash to pay for the cake.
We would like to wish all our readers and friends, far and wide, a wonderful “El Día de Los Reyes Magos.”
On a serious note
Please spare a moment to remember and honour Juan Antonio Lozano. The 20-year-old lost his life after a cable knocked him from the float. He received head injuries which later cost him his life in January 2015 in Níjar, Almería. He had been portraying the King Balthazar.
Also deserving of our remembrance are a 55-year-old man who was left paralysed in 2006 after his throne was knocked from the float by a cable in San Juan de Aznalfarache in Sevilla… and six-year-old Miguel who was crushed by a float when he tried to pick up sweets in Málaga in 2013.
Our thoughts are with them all. Of course, safety is monitored closely by the event organisers, but it is always sensible to be watchful yourselves. Please stay safe and keep an eye on your kiddies who can get a little excited at these events.
by Elle Draper
Elle, along with Alan, is the owner of Spain Buddy and the busy web design business – Gandy-Draper. Born a “Norverner”, she then spent most of her life “Dann Saff” before moving to Spain in 2006. Elle’s loves are Alan, the internet, their three bouncing dogs, good food, and dry white wine – although not necessarily in that order.