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The Three Kings Day in Spain

The three Kings day in Spain

One of the different cultural aspects is the celebration of the Three Kings Day in Spain or the Dia de los Reyes Magos.
This takes place on the 6th of January and for many Spanish people this is essentially when they celebrate rather than on the 25th of December.
The 6th of January is also the day or Epiphany and is one of the three principal and older festivals of the Christian church( the other two being Easter and Christmas)

According to the Bible, three wise men went to visit the newborn baby Jesus in Bethlehem and came bearing gifts. Their names were Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar, and they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

The Three Wise Men (or Three Kings as translated from Spanish) have been celebrated in various European countries since the Middle Ages. Usually, the dates of January 6th and 7th are symbolic of representing the birth of Jesus, in contrast to December 25th as in the western world. When the tradition of Santa Claus bringing presents to children on Christmas Day became popular, the Spanish culture adapted to this and used los Reyes Magos as the bringers of presents.

On January 5th, before the arrival of the Three Kings, Spanish towns and cities put on the most spectacular parades known as the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos, or Three Kings Day parade. It normally includes dancers, musicians lots of different types of performing artists to the streets and finishes with the reyes magos riding on senstational floats. The children adore this parade as the Three Kings throw sweets from their floats into the crowds to the delighted children who wait excitedly.

On the morning of January 6th, children wake up to presents brought from the Reyes Magos. Usually this day is spent with all the family and also celebrated with a wonderful lunch.

Another huge edible tradition on January 6th which is the Roscón de Reyes. This is a ring-shaped cake that is covered with small pieces of candied fruit representative of the jewels of the crown. It normally has cream inside and dried fruit on the top and contains a lovely surprise of two things hidden inside. One is a haba bean – The person who finds this in their slice pays for the cake and the other is a toy and the children compete with one another to see who can find it first.

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