The most popular Three Wise Men’s parades
The Spanish Christmas tradition says that Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar, the Three Wise Men who worshiped Jesus Christ at his birth, are in charge of delivering gifts to all children who behaved well throughout the year. The date of this celebration takes place on January 6th in all the cities of Spain, where they organize, among many other things, large royal receptions and parades, also known as “cabalgatas”. Alcoy (Alicante), Santander, Gijon, San Sebastián and Casavieja (Avila) are some of the towns that stand out for their parades. Would you like to include them in your Christmas holidays in Spain?
The “cabalgata” of Alcoy, in Alicante, is the oldest of Spain (dates from the 19th century). In it, beside the Three Wise Men, many pages (helpers), pastors and groups of dancers participate. There are also the ‘negres’, who, during the parade, go up to the balconies to deliver the gifts to the kids.
The festival of Three Wise Men is also lived in a special way in Santander. In the parade, in addition to Melchor, Gaspar, Baltasar and all their entourage, many children’s characters also participate. Lots of large and striking floats run through the streets of the Cantabrian capital. You can not miss either the representation of the Mystery of the Portal of Bethlehem, which brings together shepherds and all kinds of animals.
Gijón, in Asturias, is adorned for two days to receive Their Majesties, who usually reach the city spectacularly (by boat, helicopter …). The town hall hosts a reception where the youngest children holding their letters asking for gifts, are photographed with the Three Wise Men. The parade takes place in the afternoon and goes through the city, with floats, animals, shepherds, pages…
Also in the north of Spain, San Sebastian proposes a spectacular program of activities on the occasion of this special day. The capital of Gipuzkoa also receives the Three Wise Men in a striking way and organizes a reception at the town hall. In the parade, which takes place in the afternoon, you’ll find numerous elements of the Basque festive culture, such as trikitilaris and txarangas, and kilos and kilos of sweets are given.
Casavieja, in Avila, barely has 1,400 inhabitants, but it has one of the most respected parades in Spain. The reason? Respect for traditions. Many groups of ‘zambomberos’ participate in it, people accompanying the Three Wise Men playing their zambombas and tambourines, rudimentary instruments typical of the Spanish Christmas. It is, without a doubt, a striking way to live such a lovely party.