Did you know that one of the most exciting days in Spain comes 12 days after Christmas on the 6th of January? Especially children are eager for this day, as they have been waiting since Christmas for the Three Wise Kings to bring their presents. The Christmas season is very special in Barcelona, there are a lot of activities to choose from during this time.
The celebrations start on the 5th of January when their Majesties the kings Gaspar, Melchor and Baltasar arrive at the Moll de la Fusta aboard the Santa Eulàlia, and greet everyone at the port at 4pm. Like always, they are accompanied by their cortege of fantastic creatures and the postmen, ready to collect the last wishes before the magical night. After the mayor of Barcelona hands them the key to the city, which will open the doors of every home to leave the presents at night, the parade throughout the city starts. The starting point of the parade is at the park Ciutadella on Passeig dels Tillers, where it sets off at 6pm. The parade then goes through the city centre and ends at the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc at around 9pm. It is spectacular and amusing, as the Kings and their entourage throw thousands of sweets and candy to the boys and girls of Barcelona, to say goodbye to Christmas with a smile and a lot of sweetness.
The Three Wise Kings represent the three Kings of the Bible who bring gold, incense and myrrh to baby Jesus in the manger of Bethlehem, where he was born. The Three Wise Kings came from very distant countries, but were guided by a sign from heaven, a “magic star”. Years later the men of science pointed out that, it could have been a comet.
At home, children leave their shoes by the window to be filled by the Kings. They leave out water for the camels of the kings and food for the kings. Before this day, children have written their letters to tell the kings if they were “good” or “bad”, and what they would like to receive as presents.
In the morning of the 6th of January, children wake up hoping to get everything they wished for and not a piece of coal for being naughty. Usually this is followed by a large family lunch. The dessert is always El Roscón de Reyes, a ring shaped cake with two hidden objects inside, a small figure of a king and a dry green bean. Once the cake is served, everyone checks their part with the hope of having the king and not the bean. The person who finds the king in the piece of cake is the king and wears a crown. The person who finds the bean, must pay for the cake.
The Cavalcade of Kings is currently a fun and exciting event that all people, regardless of their age, want to see to enjoy the visual show, music and fantasy during the most magical night of the year. For those who cannot go to see the parade in person, can enjoy the event on television as well.
This day means the last day of the Christmas period. The next day, the children return to school to show their new toys to their friends and for the adults, the work begins. After, these Christmas decorations are removed and the fun is over until next year.
Have you already sent your letter to the Three Wise Kings? How will you celebrate this special day? Would you perhaps like to attend the magical parade?
Don’t worry if you can’t make it, because all throughout the year Barcelona is bursting with beautiful celebrations, festivities and events, such as, La Mercé, Santa Eulàlia and several music festivals.
Junior Recruitment Consultant