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Celebrations vary throughout the country, but here’s how to celebrate Three King’s Day in Seville!
Traditionally speaking, children don’t receive their Christmas gifts until the 6th of January (Day of the Epiphany), when The Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos) travel all over the country delivering presents. Nowadays, more and more families in Spain are welcoming Santa Claus to their houses and starting to exchange gifts on Christmas Day.
However, that doesn’t mean they’re forgetting about Three King’s Day (Día de Los Reyes Magos), and this day remains the traditional gift-giving day in Spain.
Spanish people love a good procession, and the central part of the Three King’s celebration in Seville, and most other parts of Spain, is the huge parade that winds through the streets of the city on the 5th of January.
Los Reyes Magos announce their arrival by means of a 6-hour long journey through Seville known as La Cabalgata de Los Reyes. This symbolizes the arrival of The Three Kings, Melchior, Caspar and Balthasar, to Jesus’ manger to present him with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Some cities, such as Barcelona, welcome their guests of honor by boat, but here in Seville, Los Reyes Magos arrive on huge floats. They’re accompanied by smiling locals, armed with unending bags of sweets to throw into the crowd.
Locals gather in huge numbers to see the parade and collect as many of the hard candies as possible. Be prepared to see people of all ages, both young and, shall we say, ‘not so young’, scrambling through the crowd adding to their candy harvest.
While this lively celebration is certainly not for the faint-hearten, with dancers, musicians and all types of performers adding to the spectacle, seeing the Cabalgata de Los Reyes is something you can’t miss if you’re in Seville in January!
When all the excitement of the cabalgata has died down, families return home and prepare themselves for the arrival of The Three Kings. Children place a pair of shoes in an obvious spot in the house where the Kings can clearly see them.
Much like how a drink and some festive treats are left for Santa Claus, food and drink are set out for the Kings too. And in place of Rudolph’s carrot, some families leave milk and bread to help the camels complete their epic journey through Spain.
Kids finally settle down to a restless night’s sleep and when they just can’t bear the anticipation anymore, they rush to the spot where they left out their shoes to find the neatly wrapped presents from the Kings waiting for them!
The 6th of January, Día de Los Reyes, would not be complete without the traditional breakfast of Roscón de Reyes. After unwrapping all the presents, the whole family gathers round to tuck into this circular cake filled with delicious cream and decorated with brightly colored candied fruit. The candied fruit, or fruta escarchada, is said to represent the jewels that were found on the Wise Men’s clothing when they arrived to Bethlehem.
However, there’s much more to this tradition than just enjoying the taste of the delicious roscón. Carefully hidden inside are two figurines, a faba bean and a king. The person who gets the slice with the small king inside it is the king or the queen of the breakfast and is said to have good luck all year round.
Unfortunately, it’s not such great news for the person who finds the faba bean, as they have to pay for the roscón! These delicious treats are found in pastry shops all throughout the city and devouring your roscón with a nice cup of coffee is the perfect way to celebrate Three King’s Day in Seville.