Without fail The Three Kings and their entourages roll into town every 5th of January being led by the North Star. Just like Santa Claus somehow squeezes down chimneys and air con units (not sure he gets into places without chimneys. He’s a little big for air con units. Maybe he sends an elf) to deliver presents on Christmas Day, The Three Kings over The Holidays bring presents on the 6th January. Ask any Spanish kid who brings Christmas presents most’ll say the Kings. Santa has a huge delivery list in Spain, Caga Tio does its thing in Catalunya however it’s the Kings who rule. Most kids will get a visit from Santa and the Kings.
This year unlike last I managed to see the parade it in its entirety except we stood on the other side of the road as we couldn’t cross there were that many people (I would have before it began, P didn’t want to). It felt weird and a little disoriented watching it from the other side. Even P said so (shoulda crossed when had the chance!). I’m so used to watching them arrive from my left or standing on the right side of the road up Via Laietana for Correfoc even though that happens from the other direction. Creature of habit. Anyways I’ll leave you with some photos (aka the ones in focus) of the Cabalgata. While the costumes and most floats are different year it always starts with the mounted police leading the North Star as the story of the Kings is told. Just like Santa in Lapland has his elves, the Kings have their own post office and toy factory. I always love the postal bicycles and fishing type nets raised overheads so little kids can hand over their Kings wish list letters. Then come the Kings, Melchor, Gazpar and Baltasar each with their own entourage of dancers. Always the kids favourite is Baltasar as he’s the one who brings the presents (I Iove how over the years his entourage has grown to highlight the African community in Barcelona and the Savannah with lions, elephants and giraffes). If you’ve been naughty you get a lump of carbon from the coal train before the toys arrive.
I have no idea what this was. A Kings postal worker rest oasis?
Each King also has their own post/mail couriers in addition to one for all three.
Up next are excited kids being told bed time otherwise the Kings won’t leave presents in the shoes left out on the balcony (still no idea how Santa gets in apartments. Kids also leave water out for the camels like Rudolph gets a carrot, yet the presents end up under the Christmas tree. Serious elf and King magic going on). Then comes the buses everybody’s been waiting for, CARAMELOS! Sweets fired from canons and everybody and I mean everybody scrambles for sweets raining down on them! I can’t help but imagine how magical it just be for little kids. You see the Cabalgata, the Kings, soak up the magic and the next day you wake up to discover they delivered presents during the night. He’s got 2 more hours to go.
The only thing I don’t like about the parade is the ticker tape and this year for a city on prides itself on being green they had a float that released balloons. They wreck havoc on the environment. Birds eat them, if they land in the water turtles eat them mistaking them for jelly fish and suffer the consequences. That aside most Spanish towns and cities hold a Cabalgata and it’s a great time to visit. The next day’s a holiday with the 7th a day many (adults) have been waiting for. The sales start!
Can you imagine being a kid seeing the Kings, delivering your Kings letter and then waking up the next morning to presents?