SPAIN: Lights and symphony are everywhere; Three Kings Festival is here! The blissful atmosphere surrounding the cities brimming with street parades in creative costumes, forms the aura of this special day.
It can also be defined as children’s favourite festival as it offers them multitudes of gifts and surprises. Yes! Delicious cakes and cookies are also there to offer a tasty meal. Witnessing Three Kings Festival offers a cheerful atmosphere.
CEO of Transcontinental Times Roshan Bhondekar shared his experience of the festival. He wrote, “Witnessed to attend #ReyesMagos The biblical Magi, also referred to as the Wise Men or King #ThreeWiseMen Parade at #Salamanca #Spain along with wife Dr. @SahraArdah #Reyes #reyes2023 #reyesconidealo #Europe.”
Importance and significance of Three Kings Festival
January 5 of every year starts the traditional celebration of the Three Kings Festival (Fiesta de los Reyes) or Three Kings Day. It is also known as the Feast of the Epiphany and is primarily observed in Spain and Latin America. Its festivities can be spotted all around Europe. Elements of it can also be traced in the customs of Eastern and Greek churches.
The festival holds a deep significance as on January 6, three wise men or three kings, also known as the Magi, arrived in Bethlehem following the birth of Jesus Christ.
The three wise men, Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar, represent Arabia, the Orient, and Africa. It is said that they arrived on a camel with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for baby Jesus.
Christmas and Three Kings Day share the same festive soul
Three Kings Festival is also referred to as Little Christmas, Twelfth Night, or Old Christmas. It is really astounding to witness the celebration of this festival just a few days after Christmas, which forms a long week of holidays and festivities, especially for children.
Taking place just a few days after Christmas is not the only thing the Three King Festival shares in common. Just like Santa Claus on Christmas, Three Kings plays a similar part in this festival.
On the evening of January 5, children, mainly in Spain, leave their pairs of shoes outside their doors to receive gifts and surprises. The whole tradition epitomizes the Three Kings’ gift for Jesus Christ.
Similarly, letters to Santa, children write letters to Three Kings. To soothe and care for the camels that the Three Wise Men rode in on, some drop straws as a present.
The main attraction of Three Kings Festival is the colourful parade on the streets of Madrid, Spain. Members of the council dress as Three Kings and shower gifts and candy on the children. People in attractive costumes are also part of the parade; they can be spotted around the member dressed as Three Wise Men.
January 6 marks the holiday bringing joy and happiness among Spanish families. Children especially hold a lot of excitement because their letter to Three Kings gets a response (gifts). Besides presents, a popular dish also plays a vital role in this festival.
Roscon de Reyes, a traditional and highly popular cake, adds more to Three Kings Festival. The round-shaped cakes resembling a king’s crown are made with bread sandwiching sweet whipped cream. Small pieces of fruit and dried dates form the topping on this mouth-watering cake.
Parades, candies, gifts, and Roscon de Reyes summaries the goodness of Three Kings Day. The festival finally comes to a close with everyone smiling and sharing love.