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THREE KINGS: A SPANISH XMAS TRADITION

Christmas celebrations in Spain are winding up for their traditional culmination when Spaniards take to the streets for the spectacular Three Kings parade.

Three Kings MarbellaWhile in other parts of Europe the festive celebrations tend to be focused on Christmas Day, December 25th is more a day for quiet reflection to the average Spaniard, with gifts traditionally being exchanged on January 6th. Tradition has it that the Three Wise Men visit overnight on January 5th bearing presents for children—so long as they have been good—much as Santa does elsewhere in the world on Christmas Eve.

Before going to bed children leave out their shoes with sweet treats for ‘Los Tres Magos’ and hay for their camels. In the morning the sweets are gone and a trail of hay leads to the shoes that are now filled and surrounded by beautifully wrapped presents. For those children who have been naughty there may well be a lump of ‘coal’ included—one that has been made from black coloured sugar.

A big welcome for the Three Kings

As they come bearing gifts the Spanish naturally think it is only right to give the Three Kings a big welcome the night before, so on January 5th young and old—whole families together—take to the streets in cities, towns and villages in every corner of Spain to view the procession of the kings as they make their much anticipated entrance.

This takes the form of a parade, with the Three Kings either ensconced on thrones borne by floats or riding on horseback whilst throwing sweets to the crowds that line the streets. This often leads to a scramble as youngsters (and sometimes their grannies too) rush to snatch up the treats.

It is a fun evening out, one that reflects the fun-loving nature, family values and respect for tradition of the Spanish people, an event that is well worth a visit to get a true taste of Spain—and a handful of sweets too!

2016 festivities in Marbella

This year the festivities in Marbella start in the Puerto Deportivo (pleasure port) on January 5th at noon as the Three Kings arrive by boat to be greeted by the mayor. After being presented with the keys to the town, they will be taken on a tour by classic car before the procession starts at 6pm.

It will begin in Avda. Severo Ochoa and proceed along Avenidas Ramón y Cajal and Ricardo Soriano before finishing at Plaza Monseñor Rodrigo Bocanegra approximately two hours later.

In San Pedro Alcántara the parade is due to start at 6pm in Calle Fuente Nueva and will follow town centre streets before finishing in the Plaza de la Iglesia, while in Nueva Andalucía it begins at 3.30pm at the Parroquia Vírgen Madre church and finishes at Avda. Gustavo Adolfo Becquer.

In Las Chapas the parade is being held a day early. The procession will start in Avda. España at 6.30pm on January 4th and then follow Avda. Valeriano Rodríguez, Calle Joaquín Rodrigo, Avda. Pastoral de Las Chapas and Calle Alcornoque, finishing in Avda. Las Cumbres to complete the Spanish festive season in style.

 
 

Published in Marbella Events, Spain Info |