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The three kings

02 Jan 2023

Three kings, the feast for the children
Six January the weather is so far, the day that the three kings festival is celebrated. On this day, Christians celebrate the visit of the three ways to baby Jesus in Bethlehem. In Seville, too, it is a day that many young children and adults are looking forward to. The big parade, sweets and presents make the day a big party. In this blog, you will find out more about the traditions and where you should be when.

The story of the three kings
Apostle Matheus wrote the story of the three sages (Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar). In this story, the three sages follow a star, who ultimately leads to Bethlehem. Here they find Mary, Joseph, and the child Jesus. They donate Jesus, mirre, gold, and incense. The Feast of the Trinity was created around the fourth century to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the son of God on earth.

The letter at the Trinity Festival
In Spain, the children celebrate their most beautiful festival on 5 and 6 January: The three Kings Festival or Los Reyes Magos. It starts with writing the letters, Carta a Los Reyes Magos, to the three Kings. In these letters, the children write how well they have been and what gifts they would like to receive. Next comes the most exciting and magical: The children themselves are going to write to the three Kings, who are everywhere in the city so that the children can get rid of their letters. The three Kings walk in their beautiful royal robes, King Balthasar in the blue, Melchior in a red garment, and Caspar in a green royal mantle. You will encounter them in unexpected places in every Spanish city or village.

The procession, La Cabalgata de los Reyes
On January 5, almost every village and city in Spain has a parade of the Three Kings: La Cabalgata de Los Reyes, which has been happening since 1885. It is a parade with all kinds of floats, circus artists, fire-spewers, and all kinds of animals in a long lively procession and at the end of the procession, the three Kings come. The royal helpers of the three wise throw candy at the children. In the parade, you will also see many lampshades. The lampoons were used in the past to dispel evil spirits and that may happen now so hopefully, there are many lampoons this year.

This year the parade in Seville will get its more traditional route back. The procession will begin at 16:30 from the old tobacco factory, where it will continue its journey to the feria. Via Plaza del Duque he will arrive at the Isabel II bridge at 19:00 and cross the guadalquivir toward Triana. After an hour of walking through the cozy neighborhood, the parade will arrive at Plaza de Cuba. At 20:50 the procession will return to the center via the Puente de Los Remedios bridge. Palos de la Frontera is the place where the parade will end with its thirty-three floats, nearly 1000 Bedouins, seven music bands, and 3000 members.

The gifts of the Three Kings
When the children have seen the parade and the candy is eaten, they are full of expectation and excitement to bed and hope that Melchior, Caspar, and Balthasar will come by. Children put bread and water on the window sill for the King's camels. The three Kings come in through the window and put gifts in the shoes of the children if the children have been loved.

But if the children have been bad, they do not receive gifts but black coal, which is fortunately made of sugar, and carbon dulce. The family will have breakfast with a sweet round bread, el roscon de Reyes, in which a statue of a king is hidden. The one who finds the statue in his piece of bread may be the king that year.

The three kings in Sevilla
In Seville, the three kings are also celebrated with exuberant enthusiasm. In one place in Seville, there is a special opportunity for the children to give their letters. There are three envoys of the three Kings, Isabella I of Castile, Al-Mutamid, and Carlos V. in front of the royal palace Alcázar They receive the letters of the children and send them to their colleagues, the three Wise Men. A lot of children pass by. But throughout the city, you will encounter the three Kings opposite Bécquer Hotel.

Then the procession on 5 January, around four hours the three Kings enter the city of Seville on their camels or horses. The parade begins at the University of Seville at a quarter past four and ends about ten hours in Palos de la Frontera at the Balthasar entrance. In addition to this parade through the center of Seville, the parade takes place on January 6 through the streets of Triana. The parade is a parade of hope and magic, which exudes joy and this year consists of thirteen floats.

They are simply fantastic works of art, such as that of the big-visor car in gold and green with a large peacock, which has an elephant on its back with a large peacock tail. At the end of the procession, the three floats of the three Kings come with their own canopy in the shape of a crown. The canopy of Melchior is in red tones, Caspar green, and of Balthasar blue, all combined with gold.

You should definitely include your wishes in your letter when you give your letter, for example in the Alcazar Palace or when you meet the Three Kings in the city.

And you must see the parade on January 5! Many families are on the roadside to receive the three wise men during the Cabalgata de Reyes. Beautiful swimmers show you bright colors and often with popular characters known to the children. You have to see this and who knows, catch your candy. But this will not be easy, because it seems to be a competition that achieves the most sweets.

Celebrate three kings with gifts! When you receive a gift, you know that you were sweet, but if you are black coal candy should rather be.
Finally breakfast with a Trinity Stol and who knows you will be the king next year!