January 6th, Day of the "Three Wise Men"
The cavalcade of kings.
One of the most entrenched traditions in the Spanish culture is the
celebration of the king’s night, when children and adults are filled
with illusions and hopes. The Cavalcade is a parade on each January 5th
that is carried out in large and small cities in Spain. It is to
represent the route that toured the Magi from Bethlehem to find baby
Jesus following the star which pointed the way.
According to the Gospel of St. Matthew, the three Magi from the Orient offered for gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Child God. For years and centuries, popular tradition has represented three major characters that worshipped the baby Jesus and offered him gifts.
In Spain and Latin America there is the tradition of delivering gifts to children on the night of January 5th to 6th. That night, long awaited by children, the three Magi arrive in the city with all their entourage and they are received by the authorities. Mounted on their camels, the kings parade through the city to enjoy and delight children who are looking with eyes full of wonder and enthusiasm.
The Cavalcade of Kings is a representation of festive worship of the three Magi to the baby Jesus. The cities are filled with light and color, and begin the long haul, which sometimes lasted hours. There are parade of floats, camels, royal pages and the most varied and exotic characters parade before the astonished eyes of children and adults. According to Spanish tradition, on the evening of January 5th the three Magi from the Orient tour the city by throwing candy to children and showing their entire splendor.
The Kings coal and bun: Roscón de Reyes
The moment of eating this Christmas sweet is diverse. You can have it at breakfast, when the family is together opening gifts. Mealtime, as dessert, it is also appropriate, but the snack is not bad time either. Within the rounded bun, small gifts hide which are discovered with joy and good humour by those who eat the cake.
But all this tradition is associated with the behavior of children throughout the year, at times when children have not been well-behaved, they will not receive the gifts they expect. One of the things required by the Magi from the Orient is the kindness and good behavior in children. For those who during the year have not behaved well, the Kings did not bring gifts, but another kind of "gift", on the morning of January 6th children find coal. But as the Magi are not mean, coal given to children is a type of sweet coal, sugar, which they can eat all, children and elderly, and it symbolizes the notice of the need for the child to change.
The letter to the kings and the delivery to royal page.
Whatever the method chosen to deliver the letter, the next morning, children and adults wake up full of excitement and they run alongside their shoes, where there is so miraculous gifts. Joy, excitement, and hope flood Spanish homes. It is one of the most magical nights of the year.