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The 3 Kings Parade in Cuenca, Spain


By balcony


The 3 Kings Parade in Cuenca, Spain, January 5th 2015

My wife & I went to Cuenca, as I’ve said in a previous blog, on January 2nd 2015, to see her family & our sons & granddaughters, one of whom was born just a couple of months earlier & who we had never met.

While we were there on January 5th there was the annual 3 Kings Parade. This parade is celebrated throughout the Spanish speaking world & has slightly different names in different countries.

The 3 Kings are what we call the “Three Wise Men” who brought gifts to Jesus in Bethlehem. We all know the Christmas carol: “We Three Kings of Orient are”.

All over Spain they celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings who, like Santa Claus or Father Christmas, bring presents to the children, only instead of it being on Christmas Eve 24th December, as we are accustomed to, the Kings bring them on the night of January 5th.

Nowadays the celebrations take the form of each king individually riding on a float with his aides throwing fistfuls of sweets to the bystanders, which the children absolutely love!

Here are some photos I took, you will have to excuse the bad quality of the photos as they were taken with my smartphone in the dark, even though I tried to position myself so that the street lights would illuminate the floats & hopefully they wouldn’t come out too dark. Some of the floats had extremely bright lighting which also spoilt many photos. At the same time they were all moving up the street towards my wife & granddaughter & me & past us.

This first float is King Caspar’s, perhaps the brightest of them all:

The 2nd float is that of Melchior’s:

The last King, Balthasar, is on the 3rd float:

That night the children receive their gifts. The following day is a Bank Holiday when a ring shaped cake, rather like an enormous flat doughnut is traditionally eaten. This generally has a small trinket & some of them are filled with cream! Most of them are bought nowadays but my wife made one here in England a couple of years ago as well!

“It is traditionally eaten on January 6, during the celebration of the Día de Reyes (literally “Kings’ Day”), which commemorates the arrival of the three Magi or Wise Men. In most of Spain, Spanish America, and sometimes, Hispanic communities in the United States, this is the day when children traditionally get presents, which are attributed to the Three Wise Men (and not Santa Claus or Father Christmas)."

Roscón de Reyes – Mallorquina" by Tamorlan – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

I’ll leave you with that lovely “Roscon de Reyes”!

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That's interesting. 12th night (Epiphany or "showing" ) used to be taken much more notice of in Britain until recently but it never had floats and sweeties! Or a cake for that matter!
tha tone looks delicious - is it a dough recipe?

10 Feb, 2015


My sister in law's Spanish grand daughter has a lovely time ..she comes over here to see her English family and gets all the presents , enjoys Christmas etc, then goes back home (Asturias region) and has Kings' Day...can't be bad!!

11 Feb, 2015


Shame about the lighting. Anyway, you tried !
The floats were beautiful, obviously a lot of hard work went into them.
p.s. 'Epiphany means ' God with us.'

11 Feb, 2015


Diane,sorry but I think you'll find its Emmanuel that means God with us

(Epiphany is from Gk epiphanes = manifest, ie when Christ was shown to the wise men)

11 Feb, 2015


Memory on holiday.

11 Feb, 2015


I know the feeling!

11 Feb, 2015


Interesting blog ...

11 Feb, 2015


Glad that many of you enjoyed this blog! I thought that as it's not something we see in the UK that people would be interested in seeing some pictures of the event.

@ Steragram: "tha tone looks delicious - is it a dough recipe?"

Yes I think it is. Few people actually make it at home any more as it's quite a laborious process - as my wife & I found out when we made one a few years ago! Most people therefore buy their "Roscon" in a cake shop! You can buy them sliced in two & filled with delicious cream!!!

We brought one back from Spain for our daughter & family - minus the cream! LOL! :-D)

@ Paul: Your sister-in-law's Spanish granddaughter must love that! She would be back home in time for the "Kings' Parade" & the many handfuls of sweets that are thrown to the crowds that throng the pavements! She'd also be back home in time for the presents that are given to the children on the night of the 5th. Though many families give their children presents now as well! So they end up with 2 lots of presents!

@Diane: The floats were beautiful indeed! As you rightly say an awful lot of hard work goes into their preparation as well.

12 Feb, 2015


Yes, Ana(our nephew's Spanish daughter) , has the best of both worlds Balcony!!

13 Feb, 2015

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