Santa Claus is quite well-known as he delivers toys and presents, but the real stars in Spain are los Reyes. These Three Kings are the ones who followed a star to meet the new King of Kings (Baby Jesus) and offered him three presents: gold, frankincense and myrrh to the newborn child in Belén (Bethelem).
The Day was celebrated last week with colourful parades held across the entire country. However, as the three biblical wise men paraded through the streets there was tightened security in many of Spain’s major city’s.
In Madrid the authorities deployed 800 police officers, some heavily armed, they erected concrete barriers to block access to streets and they also curbed the movement of trucks following the December attack in Berlin on a Christmas market.
Locally the celebrations were of a much lower key with just about all going off without any problems or major incident.
In Torrevieja, as has been customary for many years, the arrival of the kings took place via the fishing port during the late afternoon. They arrived on a boat belonging to the local firm Marítimas Torrevieja and were greeted by many hundreds of young children along with the Mayor and the Councillor for Fiestas, Domingo Perez.
After the customary welcomes the kings distributed over 20,000 kilos of sweets and hundreds of small toys as they processed their way to the main church square where they were welcomed by a living nativity.
Mayor Emilio Bascuñana received Orihuela’s 3 Kings at City Hall while on the Orihuela Costa the parade, which got underway from the Playa Flamenca Town Hall was also attended by many thousands of residents. The procession made its way to La Zenia Boulevard where the evening continued on the main stage with performances by many local entertainers.
For the second year running the celebrations in San Miguel de Salinas included an expat king as one of their three majesties where the town parade finished at the Casa del Cultura with the kings handing out presents to over 200 local children and elsewhere, during their short time in the region, the kings were also busy visiting local hospitals, children’s and old people’s homes where they continued to fill this unique celebration with magic.