Blog Post The celebration of the coming of the 3 Kings in Spain


The celebration of the coming of the 3 Kings in Spainblog image


The feast of the epiphany (El Dia de los Reyes) is the main festive holiday in Spain. It is the day that the children receive their presents, not from Santa Claus, but from the 3 Kings also known as the three wise men.  This is also an important festival in South America.  In recent surveys Spanish children  rate the top 'gift giver' as the Three Kings , not Santa Claus, (although in recent times Spanish children receive presents on both Christmas day and The Three Kings' day.)

Just as English children write letters to Santa Claus, Spanish children write to Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar, the three wise men,  hoping for gifts to arrive on the eve of the 5th January or the morning of the 6th January. Children also leave food and drink for the wise men and their camels in the same way as children in the U.K. leave food for Father Christmas. In some Spanish households the children leave their shoes outside to be filled with presents.

All of the main cities and towns in Spain hold spectacular parades through the streets following the 3 Kings who arrive by camel, horseback or in some coastal areas like Javea and Moraira on the Costa Blanca they arrive by boat,. This usually takes place at 6 p.m. in the evening of the 5th January, watched by crowds of townsfolk and children who then follow the parade to a central point of the town where the town officials and the three wise men (usually played by council officials) )distribute presents, ( previously having been deposited by parents) to the children. It is thought the oldest Three Kings parade in Spain was first held in Alcoy in 1885.

The 6th of January is a day of feasting often including a special cake 'Roscon de Reyes' a cake baked in a ring and often containing hidden small gifts inside the dough. This can be a toy, a replica of a baby Jesus, or a dry fava bean. The person finding the toy is crowned king or queen of the celebration, and the person who finds the bean must buy the 'Roscon de Reyes' the following year.

if you would like more information about life in Spain please phone or email us, or visit our website

If you are visiting this area at this time of year why not pop into our offices in Moraira for a chat about property.

  Tue 19th Dec 2017
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