January in SpainJanuary 5 and 6
Los Tres Reyes Magos de Oriente
Balthazar, Melchior and Gaspar
The Three Wise Men arriving by boat.
Roscón de Reyes
Duration: January 5 and 6
Location: throughout Spain
Event: Bigger than Christmas!
Three Wise Men also knows as The Three Kings, are Balthazar, Melchior and Gaspar. On January 6, they give presents to the children who have been good. The children who have been naughty will get a piece of charcoal “carbon” (it is made of candy so it isn’t really a punishment). Children write a letter to the Kings with their wish list in order to ensure they get what they want. Helpers of The Three Kings can be seen around the cities beforehand so kids can leave them their letters.
Parade of the Three Kings – Cabalgata de Reyes
On January 5, The Three Kings arrive to the city and where possible, make their entrance by arriving at the port or beach.
In Valencia, they arrive by boat at the Marina at 5pm then make their way to the center following a parade route filled with spectacular floats and live entertainment including dancing and singing. The royal helpers throw candies to the children. In Valencia, it is reported that 10,000 kilos of gluten-free candy will be given.
January 6 and Roscón de Reyes
The Three Kings work hard all night long to get the presents ready to give to the children. Instead of going down a chimney, they enter through the window and leave the presents in the shoes of the children.
The 6th of January is a public holiday throughout Spain where families come together and eat a Roscón de Reyes, a Spanish pastry traditionally eaten to celebrate the Epiphany (Dia de Reyes).
There are 2 things hidden in the Roscón de Reyes. A bean and a figurine of a wise man, baby Jesus or a little trinket. It is bad luck to find the bean because this means you have to pay for the Roscón de Reyes or bake the one for next year. It is good luck to find the figurine. You are then crowned king/queen of the day and can put on the special crown that comes with the roscon.