|The Three Kings in Cibeles!|
For those of you who are still harboring an abundance of holiday spirit and looking for somewhere to direct it, the coming week in Madrid is just what you need! El Día de los Reyes, also known as Three King’s Day, takes place on the 6th of January (the 12th day of Christmas) and provides excitement and beauty for all ages.
In religious tradition, the day of Epiphany (the 6th) is the day that the three wise men/kings arrived in Jerusalem to give gifts of gold, myrrh, and frankincense to the baby Jesus, which now results in two days of celebration, meals, parades, and presents here in Madrid.
Like many Spanish holidays, El Día de los Reyes is a day of family, food, and tradition. On the evening of the 5th, thousands of people line Madrid´s Paseo de la Castellana (a main artery of the city) to watch the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos: A large parade featuring the three kings, animals, music, and thousands of sparkling lights. Parents hoist their children onto their shoulders to see acrobats swing through the air while sweets rain over them, teenagers hang on the library gates as fireworks roar to life in the dark sky, and vendors sell cones of potato chips as the camels march solemnly behind them.
|The Parade Draws Huge Crowds on La Castellana!|
As the confetti from the parade is being swept away and families arrive home, the children excitedly line up their shoes in anticipation of the presents the magic kings will deliver while they are safely tucked away in their cozy beds. It is a happily suspenseful feeling most English speakers can relate to if they were visited by Santa Claus, and now you can relive it all over again!
|Don't miss the Rascón de Reyes!|
On the morning of the 6th, families, roommates, and friends gather together to open their presents and eat the delicious Rascón de Reyes, a round cake topped with colorful candied fruit, in the depths of which two shiny trinkets are hidden. Those who find the toys are said to have the best luck for the coming year, so be sure to go purchase your Rascón de Reyes now!
For those of you in Madrid this week, here is a quick rundown of the schedule:
Monday, January 5th:
- La Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos (the wise men parade) begins at 6:30pm in Nuevos Ministerios and finishes two hours later at Plaza de Cibeles.
- At 8:45, the kings will give a Christmas speech in the Plaza de Cibeles
|Plaza de Cibeles on the eve of Día de los Reyes|
For those of you who are not yet in Madrid, we hope to see you next year! Don’t miss it!
Happy new year, and enjoy the Día de los Reyes Magos!