2 ene. 2017

El Día de Los Reyes Magos is upon us!

The holidays still aren’t over in Spain! El Día de Los Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day), otherwise known as Epiphany in English speaking countries, is even more important than Christmas here in Spain. It is the celebration of the arrival of the Three Kings into Bethlehem and it takes place on 6th January.
The celebrations actually begin on the evening of 5th January with the Calbagata de los Reyes Magos (The Three Kings’ Parade) – it is one of the most important and special events of the year in the Spanish calendar. However, before we go into the details of the celebrations themselves, it's worth looking at the history of this significant event.

History

The arrival of the Three Kings!
In religious tradition, El Día de Los Reyes Magos marks the day that the Three Kings, also known as the Three Wise Men, arrived in Bethlehem having followed the North Star across the desert for twelve days. They came to Bethlehem to give gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus. In 1885 the Spanish government decided to mark the Epiphany with a parade and thus it remains a beloved tradition and the longest standing parade in Spain.

The Celebrations

As we said before, the party actually begins in the evening of 5th January with the Three Kings’ Parade. In Madrid, La Castellana, one of the main streets running down through the heart of the city, is shut down for the arrival of the Kings. Hundreds of families and friends seek out the best spots along the road in order to get a good view of the reenactment of their arrival! If you want a good view, we recommend planning ahead and heading down there early – it’s definitely worth it! The atmosphere is incredible as the Kings ride through on horses or extravagant floats, dishing out sweets to the crowd, surrounded by camels, musicians and acrobats. If you’re in Madrid, you must go and admire this amazing spectacle – we cannot recommend it enough!
Los Reyes Magos
After the procession, everyone goes home with a sugar rush from all the sweets and the children, very excited, leave out their shoes for the Kings to find and leave presents in. They also leave food and drink for each of the Kings and their camels! As you've probably noticed, it’s very similar to the tradition of Santa Claus – we all know how exciting it is!

Food

A Roscón de Reyes
As with almost every Spanish fiesta, food plays a vital role! It’s traditional to eat a Roscón de Reyes for breakfast on the 6th which is a ring shaped cake decorated with fruits. Two plastic objects are hidden inside the cake: a faba bean and a King. Whoever picks the piece of cake with the king in it is said to have good luck for the rest of the year whilst the unlucky one who pulls out the faba bean has to pay for the cake! Be sure to get your Roscón de Reyes this week and join in with the Spanish tradition!

We hope you have a wonderful day on the 6th and we wish you a happy New Year from all of us here at AIL Madrid!!

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