Why does Spain celebrate January 5 with a Three Kings Parade?

DIFFERENT versions of the Three Kings’ parade will take place across Spain and Gibraltar from January 5.

The religious events known as the ‘Cabalgata de Reyes’ in Spanish, celebrates the Epiphany or ‘Día de los Reyes Magos’ (Three Kings’ Day).

During Friday evening they will parade through the different cities and towns distributing thousands of kilos of sweets and sometimes even toys to local children.

The tradition of the Three Kings Cavalcade in Spain dates back several centuries.

Three Kings Parade in Spain’s Malaga celebrates its centenary this year with huge celebration cake
A Three Kings parade in Valencia (CREDIT: Valencia City Council)

The celebration involves a grand parade featuring the Three Wise Men, who are central figures in the Nativity story.

During the so-called ‘Cavalcade’, these three kings ride through the streets on elaborately decorated floats, accompanied by a procession of participants in colorful costumes.

The parade is a festive and family-friendly event, with participants often distributing sweets and small gifts to onlookers, especially children.

The Cavalcade is a spectacular tradition in many Spanish-speaking countries, and it adds a touch of magic and excitement to the celebration of Three Kings’ Day.

It has become a significant cultural and religious event, marking the end of the Christmas season in Spain.

In the city of Malaga, for example, there will be 13 floats and 20 shows in the parade.

Participants will distribute 17,500 sweets from their lorry-carried floats, as they ride around the city entertaining the general public.

In other towns and cities, they bring presents for vulnerable children or even have their own self-styled three Queens celebrations instead.

For drivers, it brings traffic chaos with many key roads closed around the centre, forcing them to take other routes to go about their business.


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