It’s Christmas (again)! While in the United States Christmas has come and gone, it is still going strong in Spain. Christmas is celebrated a bit differently here. It is still a holiday with gift-giving and family dinners, but gifts aren’t brought by Santa. Here, the Three Kings bring the presents. In Christianity, the Three Kings travel from all over in order to bring the newborn baby Jesus presents, and, likewise, the Three Kings bring presents to the children of Spain. Three Kings occurs on the 6th, and this is when children open their presents, not on the 25th.
Still, it is very similar to American Christmas. If children do not sleep the entire night, then the Three Kings won’t bring them presents. Like Santa, the Three Kings know everything. They even knew I would be in Spain, so they left me presents. Of course, the children get very excited and rip open their presents. Paper goes everywhere as they squeal with excitement over toy helicopters and dolls.
Along with presents, the night before Día de los Reyes Magos, there is a grand parade that happens in every city and village throughout Spain. During the parade, the kings procede throughout the streets and other participants throw candy. I was lucky enough to get to go to Barcelona’s largest parade in the main square. It was amazing! I have never seen such a well done parade. There were paper mache giraffes, elephants, and horses that all moved, dozens of dancers, people collecting letters from children, and, of course, the three kings. It was absolutely mind-blowing. I am so glad I was here to see this! Also, there are loads of pictures in the next post.