The Day of the Three Kings in Spain means it’s time for presents, a gorgeous parade full of sweets, music and fireworks!
Did you know that in many Spanish homes, the main event of the holidays is not on Christmas Day but in January? In Spain, January 6th is known as “El Día de los Reyes Magos” Spanish for “The Day of the Three Kings”, or some call it the Three Wise Men or Magi.
This tradition originates from the Bible when the three wise men came to Bethlehem bearing gifts for Jesus after he was born. You’ll see them in all the nativity scenes around the city and in many homes, as well as real life versions for the big parade. The Three Kings, or “los Reyes Magos”, replace Santa Claus in the majority of homes in Spain. Instead of receiving gifts from Santa on Christmas morning, in Spain the children receive gifts from the Three Kings either on the evening of January 5th or the morning of January 6th.
How do they celebrate?
Even though Spaniards celebrate Christmas, Santa Claus is not the one who brings children their gifts. It’s Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar, the Three Kings who leave the presents. The arrival of the Three Wise Men (Los Reyes Magos) is a spectacular parade with sweets and treats and lots of people so you should definitely join it!
It’s also a perfect time to taste the ring-shaped cake called Roscón de Reyes. Inside there are two things hidden for everyone to find. One is a fava bean – whoever finds this is said to buy the Roscón the following year. The second is a toy – whoever finds this is king or queen for the day!
What to do in Valencia on January 5th:
The Three Kings will come to Valencia by sea, landing at 5pm at the Valencia Marina. They will begin their traditional parade at 6pm in Paseo de la Alameda, passing through the streets of the city center until they arrive at the City Hall. After the Parade is over, the Three Kings will address the children from the City Hall Balcony. The procession will finish with a big musical show and lots of fireworks. The Three Kings parade of 2020 will be connected with the topic of ecology, environment and sustainability.
The Three Magic Kings Market of El Cabanyal
El Mercado de Reyes del Cabanyal (The Three Magic Kings Market of El Cabanyal) is the traditional marketplace for this holiday and is open from January 3rd to the morning of January 6th. On January 5th, it stays open all night long until dawn of the next day. In this market you can find all kinds of gifts with more than 200 stands to choose from!
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