For many, New 12 months’s Day 2023 marked the unhappy finish to our (considerably subdued) festivities, and the return to the each day grind… however not in Spain!
We Spaniards love the festive season a lot that the Christmas holidays at all times final till sixth January, after we have fun El día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day).
How do the Spanish have fun 3 Kings Day?
El día de los Reyes Magos is a financial institution vacation in Spain.
For us, is likely one of the most necessary celebrations and a finest beloved custom in Spain, particularly for youngsters.
As a result of it’s all about enjoyable and presents! But this time, they arrive from the Three Kings, who’re mentioned to come back into folks’s properties via the home windows on the night time of fifth January, leaving items for everybody to open the following day.
To get presents, youngsters have to put in writing a letter addressed to the Three Kings, or simply to their favorite one: Melchoir, Caspar or Balthazar. Mine is Melchoir, arms down!
Kids begin writing their letters in December, with a listing of the presents they’d wish to get on the morning of January sixth.
To guarantee that their letters attain the Three Kings, kids have handy it to one of many Three Kings’ royal messengers, discovered milling round all Spanish city and metropolis centres a number of days earlier than the large day.
They’ll ask you ways you’ve behaved all year long. If you happen to’ve been good, you’ll get all of the presents you wished for in your letter, however if you happen to’ve been naughty, all you’ll get is a lump of coal (edible sweet coal, in fact!).
So, who’re the three Kings?
Properly, the story goes that on the day Jesus was born, the Three Kings – also called the Three Clever Males – adopted a guiding star all the way in which to Bethlehem to deliver him presents.
It’s mentioned that they arrived on January sixth, bringing items of gold, frankincense and myrrh (a spice) for the infant Jesus.
The three Kings Parade
Celebrations may look a bit totally different in 2023, as Gran Canaria is presently at alert degree 3 – that means there are restrictions in place that forbid giant gatherings and occasions.
The celebrations often begin the day earlier than, on the eve of January fifth, with La Cabalgata de Reyes Magos (the Three Kings’ parade).
Folks in every single place head to the streets to witness the arrival of the Three Kings, in carriages or on their camels, loaded with presents and accompanied by their helpers, who share sweets and goodies with everybody.
You’ll discover totally different parades throughout Spain, each with its personal fashion. It’s an actual present of pleasure, gentle, color and music!
And the very best bit?
Everybody takes half.
However, if it’s too chilly to be exterior, you’ll be able to at all times watch the Three Kings using via the streets on TV from the consolation of your personal house!
What occurs after the parade?
You may assume that the parade provides youngsters an ideal excuse to remain up all night time… however no such luck!
They really go to mattress early. Earlier than they fall asleep, kids put their sneakers by the window, prepared for the Three Kings to fill them with presents.
Properly, I say kids, however all of us – younger and previous – should do it if we need to get presents!
It’s additionally frequent to go away foods and drinks for the kings and their camels to take pleasure in after their lengthy journey. Then, on the morning of January sixth, we get up to search out presents in or subsequent to our sneakers.
What do folks eat?
Households collect collectively for a feast that ends with el roscón de reyes (the King’s cake) for dessert.
The cake is adorned with crimson and inexperienced candied fruit, which symbolises the rubies and emeralds the kings had on their cloaks.
It’s baked with a tiny present and a bean inside. If you happen to get the slice that accommodates the present, you’ll be topped the king of the festivity, however if you happen to get the slice containing the bean you’ll must pay for the cake the next yr!
So now you understand how we have fun the story of the Three Kings in Spain – and if you happen to ever spend Christmas right here, you’ll know why you may not get your presents till January sixth. Simply be sure you bear in mind to go away your sneakers by the window!
¡Feliz Día de los Reyes!
Oh, and by the way in which…
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