That way, the three kings will know who to leave each gift for. In Spain, the feast day is marked with joyous parades. Known in the Anglophone world as the Epiphany, the arrival of the Three Kings is defined in Spain by the enormous expectation and the tremendous annual celebrations that revolve around the event. In Italy, stockings are hung by doors for the Kings to put presents in. In … They are usually huge spectacles featuring hundreds of actors and are broadcast live on Spanish television. Listen to Luis Albert Acevedo Jr. Many children write letters to the kings on 26 December asking for specific presents. According to Christian tradition, this was the day that Melchior (known as Melchor in Spanish), Caspar (Gaspar), and Balthasar (Baltasar) came to visit the baby Jesus and brought their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In Greece, swimming competitions have people dive into the water to retrieve crosses that have been thrown in, which represents the baptism of Jesus. The most exciting part of the cake is that two small items are baked inside of it, traditionally a small figurine of baby Jesus and a bean, although they vary. For this reason, every year, when Christmas approaches, all the children begin to write letters to one of the kings (or to all three): Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltasar. On January 5, the eve of Three Kings' Day, Spanish children leave their empty shoes near the front door or window, hoping to find them filled with treats and presents the following morning. Just like in Mexico, in Spain people also eat a Rosca known as Roscón. January 6, 2021 10:49 EUROWEEKLY THIS year’ s Three Nobleman celebrations have been somewhat different because of Covid-19 restrictions, however , this has not really put a damper on the pleasure of children throughout Spain, many of who, following Spanish tradition, still get their gifts today, January six. Three Kings Day On the twelfth day of Christmas, January 6, we celebrate Three Kings Day! If you're in Spain during the holidays, you'll have to seek out a slice at a high-quality bakery. The Cabalgata los Reyes Magos. Each year, the three kings travel on camel from the East to visit all the children. Roast lamb is another Castilla y León favourite, but is often enjoyed all around the country as … In Spain, he's known as Papá Noel, and arrives on a sleigh with reindeer just as in other parts of the world. This week we are celebrating the last special day before it ends: January 6 in Barcelona is the day of the Three Kings (or the Magi, or the Wise Men, or the Tres Reis Mags, in Catalan) or the Epiphany. While the holiday season in the U.S. normally ends right after the New Year, the winter vacation in Spain lasts until Three Kings' Day. Explain everything! Did you know that in Spain children receive their gifts on the 6th of January? In non-pandemic times, Three Kings Day is typically celebrated with parades and other events around the world. On the morning of January 6th, Three Kings' Day, children get up early and are more nervous and excited than usual. The Festival of the Three Magic Kings in Spain. A couple of weeks later, on January 6, Spain plays its second-largest lottery of the year, called El Niño. Three Kings Day in Spain and many other parts of the world is celebrated on January 6th to mark the day on the Christian calendar when the magi brought gifts to the baby Jesus. In theory, the better the children behaved, the better their gifts will be. Upon arriving, these three kings offered three gifts: gold, incense, and myrrh. The tradition says that the three kings (also known as the three wise men) had a mission to go to Bethlehem. Epiphany is one of three major Christian celebrations along with Christmas and Easter. This is Epiphany on the church calendar, the 12th day after Christmas (sometimes referred to as Twelfth Night), when Christians commemorate the arrival of the Magi or "Wise Men" who arrived bearing gifts for the Christ Child. Three Kings Bread . January 6th is Three Kings Day in Mexico, known in Spanish as el Día de los Reyes Magos or El Día de Reyes. Written by Tim McDonnell What’s more, they don’t receive presents from Santa Claus, but from the Three Kings. Instead of hosting a party, however, whoever gets the figurine of baby Jesus will be in charge of paying t… With these traditions, excitement and joy flood each house on Three Kings' Day, and little by little everyone realizes that Christmas has come to an end… until next year! It's a tradition, especially for families, to come out and see the parade. It is often topped with glazed fruits, representing the colorful jewels on a crown, and sometimes filled with whipped cream. The rosca (round or oval ring of bread) is baked with a special surprise inside: a small porcelain figurine that represented the Infant Jesus (today a dried bean can be substituted). Read on to learn more ab… In Spain, this day is known as Kings' Day or the Día de Los Reyes, and is celebrated just like a second Christmas, with feasting and the giving of presents. The Three Kings Once the end-of-the-year parties are over and the New Year begins, in Spain, the children are still waiting for the most important day of the holiday season. They followed a star that showed them the way to see baby Jesus, who had just been born. As you're walking through any Spanish city in the days leading up to January 6, you'll see lines at national lottery stores and individuals peddling tickets in the street. However, the Three Kings are still the primary source of excitement for children in Spain. The Kings march down the main avenue of the city, either on their camels or on elaborate floats. January 6th is Three Kings Day. Lamb. Every year, Three Kings' Day is celebrated on January 6th. For decades, Santa was a tradition reserved for the countries of Northern Europe and North America, but as U.S. traditions have become more and more widespread, it's not uncommon for children to receive a few smaller gifts on Christmas as well. It's difficult to prepare at home, and the most sought-after bakeries have their stocks reserved weeks before Kings' Day. The main course varies from region to region and family to family. Even though virtually every family in Spain eats this dessert on January 6, almost everyone purchases a cake. The fun isn't just limited to Spanish-speaking cultures. When they arrive in Spain, several days after New Year’s Eve, they go to each of the villages to listen to the children's requests and collect their letters. As early as December, the ubiquitous holiday cake known as the roscón de Reyes, or kings' cake, starts appearing in the windows of bakeries and grocery stores across Spain. Traditionally, Santa arrives in secret sometime in the night, stealthily sliding down chimneys while everyone is fast asleep. In fact, it is often regarded as the most important festival in Spain all year round, even more so than New Year’s or Christmas in Spain. But parents and grandparents commented on how commercial the cabalgata had become, and how many fewer children attended today. If you find the bean, however, it's your responsibility to pay for the roscón. How to Celebrate ‘El Día de los Reyes Magos’ (Three Kings’ Day) in Spain 1. The tradition here in Spain is that Los Reyes Magos, known as the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings in English, bring Spanish children their gifts on the Day of the Epiphany, January 6th. The night before, every city hosts a parade to welcome the Three Wise Men who have just arrived from the Far East. © 1989 - 2021 Ideal Education Group S.L. More than 200,000 people give it a try in Zocalo Square in Mexico City. But all children know that if they misbehaved, they run the risk of receiving a piece of coal instead. In some coastal cities, like Barcelona, they arrive by boat and then continue on to the parade. Formentera has also restricted social gatherings to a maximum of six people, both indoors and outdoors. Each city and town hosts its own parade on the eve of Three Kings' Day, called the cabalgata, to celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings into Spain from their long journey. Though for many in Latin America and the rest of the world, the Christmas season is just now hitting its peak—with the Epiphany or Three Kings’ Day (El Día de los Reyes) on January 6. Since the three kings travel such a long distance and have a lot of work to do during the 5th and 6th of January, families traditionally leave water, turrón (a typical Christmas nougat), and milk out for the three kings and their camels to eat and drink. It is sometimes called Three Kings' Day, and in some traditions celebrated as Little Christmas. Every city and sizeable town stages a parade but this year will be different. He has written about the country full time since 2006. According to the Bible, these three men traveled from around the world to Bethlehem to bring gifts to the newborn Jesus. Once the parade is over, the kids will leave their shoes ready along with some water for the camels, and wake up the following morning with gifts. Damian Corrigan is a travel writer who has traveled extensively throughout Spain since moving there in 2003. Festivities officially start the evening before Epiphany, on the night of The meal concludes the Christmas holidays and usually consists of simple, hearty fare followed by the serving of a King’s Cake. On the morning of Three Kings' Day, after the kids have feverishly opened up all of their gifts, parents sit in front of the television hoping to hear their ticket number called as the winner of El Gordo, "the big one.". Family gatherings for Three Kings' Day will be limited to six people, except in Ibiza, where up to 10 can meet. Across the Atlantic ocean, the celebration of the Three Kings’ Day is very similar. The Three Kings, on the other hand, make a very public entrance with a lot of hubbub. It is always celebrated on Christmas Day is a national holiday in Spain, but despite the country's strong Catholic roots, the day itself has not traditionally been a major day of celebration. On the night of January 5th, after having seen the three kings parade through the city, the children run home to clean their shoes and place them in a good spot for the kings to see them. Once the end-of-the-year parties are over and the New Year begins, in Spain, the children are still waiting for the most important day of the holiday season. Three Kings Day! In Ireland, the day is known as Little Christmas. Three Kings Day (Epiphany) in Spain The Three Kings Day or Epiphany (Dia de los Reyes Magos) falls on January 6 in Spain, celebrated with fervor that involves plenty of gifts, sweets and parades. As it is a tradition that has been celebrated in Spain for many centuries, most Spanish-speaking countries in the West also celebrate Three Kings' Day. The History Behind Three Kings Day in Puerto Rico, Guide to Christmas in Italy: Markets, Traditions, and Events, How to Celebrate Christmas and New Year's in Mexico, Welcome to Juana Diaz, Home of the Three Kings, How to Celebrate Christmas and New Years in Spain, The Best Time to Visit the French Riviera, Popular Foods and Sweets on the Christmas Table in Spain, 5 Reasons to Spend Your Next Christmas in Puerto Rico. The Kings throw out candy to the excited spectators, who then rush home to bed so the Kings can visit and leave their presents. If January 6 is on a Sunday, the following Monday is a public holiday in these Spanish regions: Andalucía, Aragón, Asturias, Canarias, Castilla y León, Extremadura, Madrid, Murcia, Navarra, Ceuta, and Melilla. On Christmas Eve, families do host a big family dinner, which always begins with some cured hams and cheeses as appetizers and ends with turrón, a holiday candy made from almonds. In Germanic countries, like Switzerland, Austria, and Germany, Dreikonigstag is the word for "Three Kings Day." When is … Three Kings, View of Spanish Men, outdoor scene, the traditional Kings’ Day parade, January 5th each year sees the celebration. In Spain, children anticipate Epiphany as the time when they will open the majority of their “Christmas presents.” The Three Kings are believed to visit and leave gifts behind. Celebrated most in Spain and Latin America, but also across Europe, “El Dia de los Reyes”, as it’s called in Spanish, marks the adoration of baby Jesus by the three wise men. All Rights Reserved For many Christians in Spain and Latin America, the holiday season officially ends on January 6, which is the 12th day of Christmas known as the … Every year, Three Kings' Day is celebrated on January 6th. They happily discover that there is no water or milk left and the nougat has been eaten, a sign that the three kings have recovered their strength to return home. Also referred to as the Feast of the Epiphany, this biblical holiday is celebrated each year on January 6 in Spain and many other Spanish-speaking countries. In Spain, jolly old St. Nick takes a backseat to the Three Kings of biblical lore, sometimes referred to as the Three Wise Men in English. It is a date celebrated throughout Latin America, Spain, and in Hispanic communities of the United States. Differently from other Christmas traditions, in Spain the most important festival for children is the Fiesta de Los tres Reyes Magos (Festival of the Three Magic Kings) on January 6, also known as Epiphany.. The gifts are brought by the particular […] In spite of the fact that the ‘Reyes Magos’ ( The Three Wise Men) are said to bring presents for the whole family, it’s the children who are at the centre of attention on this day, so they look forward to it more than anyone! The day of the Epiphany occurs on 6 January, and is said to be the day when the Three Kings or Wise Men arrived in Bethlehem to give their gifts to baby Jesus. Christmas season is long in Spain! Many Spaniards love their holiday lottery, and the holiday draw right before Christmas Day is considered to be the largest lottery in the world based on total payout. The Three kings day, in spanish Día de los Reyes Magos, is one of the most celebrated festivals in Barcelona, just as in the rest of Spain. Go to a Three Kings Parade (Cabalgata de Reyes) ~ Evening of January 5th. It's one of Spain's most important holidays, not just for the gifts, but also for the massive parade, the national lottery, and the traditional kings' cake. Huge Three Kings parades or ‘cabalgatas’ are held around Spain on January 5th. In Italy and Greece, the Epiphany is celebrated in different ways. In Spain, and especially in Mexico, a Rosca de Reyes is served for the traditional merienda on Three Kings Day, January 6, along with chocolate caliente. The Three Kings' Day or Day of the Magi, also known as Epiphany, is a public holiday. The photographer and her husband have opted to give their children, ages 14 and 7, most of their holiday presents on Three Kings Day, celebrated Jan. 6., instead of … According to AEMET, there is a 45-50% probability of snow at an elevation of 300 meters above sea level in Sevilla on Three Kings Day. They run to the place where they left their shoes to see what gifts they have received from the three kings of Orient. The tradition says that the three kings (also known as the three wise men) had a mission to go to Bethlehem. Learn about the three wise men — Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltasar — and other Spanish Christmas traditions. The Wise Men signify the non-Jewish people of the world, so Three Kings Day is seen as a revelation of Jesus to the Gentiles. The next morning, the previously empty shoe is hopefully filled with and surrounded by gifts, although naughty kids in Spain may be left a lump of coal, just as with Christmas in the U.S. Three Kings Parades Three Kings parade in Madrid in 2015. Privacy Policy, Business Spanish and Chamber of Commerce Exam.