Day 10: Three Kings Parade in Madrid
Spain celebrates the holiday period differently to the UK. For Spanish people, celebrations do not end on New Year’s Eve, they conclude with Epiphany on January 6.
Rather than swapping presents on December 25, families exchange small gifts on Christmas Eve, followed a series of festive meals over the holiday period.
However their biggest celebration is reserved for January 5, when the streets of the Spanish capital come to life with the spectacular, Three Kings parade! This glittering procession which occurs 12 days after Christmas, on the eve of Epiphany, marks the day when the three wise men arrived in Bethlehem presenting Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Thousands of families line the streets for a glimpse of the three wise men, Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar as they parade past on colourfully decorated floats amid a glittering show of lights, elaborate costumes and captivating music. It is a night when the Spanish, do what they do best, party and celebrate!
Elated, children return to their homes to polish and lay out their shoes (the Spanish equivalent of the UK Christmas stocking) in anticipation of the gifts the wise men will deliver if they have been good.
Katrina Armstrong, Events Project Director, who has previously lived in Madrid, shares her experiences: “This is a captivating and electric night, something that both the Spanish and visitors can enjoy together. It is a visual feast that everyone should experience at least once. But the joy does not end as the evening draws to a close on January 5. There is nothing more magical than the excitement on a child’s face when they are then awoken with gifts in the morning. To me this event aptly reflects everything that is positive about the Spanish people and their culture.”
If Madrid sounds like a perfect incentive for your group, whatever the season, give us a call on +44(0) 1908 214717 or get in touch today and see how we can help you create that unforgettable trip for your colleagues.