Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos – Three Kings parade in Nerja, Spain
After spending Christmas and the holidays in Spain we thought we’d stay on a little longer to catch the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos, the three Kings Parade. Last year we were living near Loja, in the hills above Granada and saw the three kings parade there, so knew what to expect. The parade marks the arrival of the three kings, who traditionally brought gifts to honour the birth of Jesus.
Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar arrive in towns throughout Spain on carnival floats. There are some magnificent processions throughout Spain, attracting hundreds of thousands of spectators. The Magi are more popular than Father Christmas here in Spain and most receive their christmas presents from the three kings. In Spain and many Latin American countries children rush home after the cabalgata to leave out some food for the three kings and a drink for their camels. They also leave shoes outside their door so they can be filled with gifts which are opened on the Feast of the Epiphany, the 6 January.
Our boys were really keen to watch the parade because they also knew what the three kings bring…caramellos, boiled sweets and lots of them. The kings and their helpers throw the their sugary treats at the eagerly awaiting onlookers by the generous handful. Most children wait with plastic bags to stash their hoard; they really do get that many! Luckily our boys didn’t manage to bag as many as last year, but we may still have to hide a few and ration them for the sake of their teeth! The procession itself though was pretty great and despite way too much sugar being consumed, we all enjoyed welcoming the three kings in Nerja.
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