THE THREE WISE MEN: A CHRISTMAS TRADITION IN SPAIN

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Christmas holidays with your children? Without a doubt Spain may be the destination you are looking for. Renfe-SNCF en Coopération takes you to the major Spanish cities, which celebrate Christmas until January the 6th and where children are the unconditional protagonists. One famous celebration takes place on January the 5th with the traditional arrival of Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior, the Three Wise Men, distributing sweets to the children during the parade.


THE THREE WISE MEN'S DAY PARADE

The evening of January the 5th is the most important time of the day, when comes the Three Wise parade in every city of Spain. This parade represents the path travelled by the Three Kings on camels following the star to Bethlehem where Jesus Christ was born. It is a show full of magic, where a large number of floats carry not only the Three Kings, but also an endless number of fantastic characters throwing candy to children. The choices are endless: Barcelona, Madrid, Girona, Zaragoza… 


LETTER TO THE THREE WISE MEN​

No letter, no gifts! Every child in Spain write a letter to the Three Kings, listing which presents they would like to receive, for having behaved well throughout the year. Once written, the letter needs to be given in before January the 5th to one of the king present in shopping centers and city squares around Spain.


PRESENTS AND THE KING CAKE

According to tradition, on the night of January the 5th, children have go to bed early, but not before leaving their shoes out so that the Three Kings can fill the​m with presents when they come to the house. In some households, people also leave water and food to give the Kings and camels strength for their long journey. The following day is the Three Kings’s day, and children get up early to enjoy their presents.​
Furthermore, on January the 6th families use to eat the “roscón de Reyes” or the king cake, ring-shaped cake with a surprise hidden inside. Traditionally, a small plastic or porcelain king and a “bean” is hidden into the king cake. The one that finds the king will have a year filled with happiness and the one who finds the bean will have to pay another cake. 

Besides the Three Kings Parade, there is plenty more fun guaranteed for the little ones throughout the Christmas period. Spain’s main streets are decorated with Christmas lights that your kids will love.




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