On Christmas Eve, while children all over the world squeeze their eyes closed and try to force sleep to win out over excitement, children in Spanish and Latin American countries will sleep soundly… until the night of January 5th.
Emulating events of the Old Testament, Spanish and Latin American countries give their gifts on the day that the Three Wise Men (Los Tres Magos or Tres Reyes) gave their gifts to the baby Jesus – on the Twelfth Night after his birth, having travelled many miles to worship him. Every year children write letters to The Three Kings (Tres Reyes), Balthazar, Melchior and Gaspar, telling them what gifts they would like and the Kings travel their journey anew, arriving in cities, towns and villages all over Spain and Latin America on the night of the 5th January to bestow gifts on the children.
It’s a beautiful tradition that sees colourful parades of elaborate floats depicting scenes from the Bible and Disney in equal measure, accompanied by the Three Kings or Tres Reyes in their Royal finery. Sometimes the Kings ride atop floats, sometimes in open top cars and often they ride camels.
Throwing sweets from huge sacks into the crowds of excited children who line the route, the Three Kings make their way to the appointed place where the baby Jesus awaits them to re-enact the Nativity scene. Trailing at the back of the procession will usually be seen a float or a cart loaded with coal â€“ the dreaded ‘gift’ which every child is threatened with getting if they don’t behave over the course of the year.Â When they awake on the morning of January 6th, a public holiday in Spain and Latin America, the children will find the gifts they wrote and asked for, unless of course they haven’t been good, in which case… Unsurprisingly, every child is always well behaved enough to avoid the lump of coal on Twelfth Night
Traditionally ending in a fireworks display, the Tres Reyes parade is one of the most loved across the Canary Islands and makes for a very special family night out. If you’re on holiday at Sands Beach Resort or anywhere else on Lanzarote around the 5th January, pop along to the route of your nearest Tres Reyes parade and join in the fun. And if you’ll take our advice, it’s worth getting some catching practice in before you go to ensure you bag some of the flying goodies that will come your way.
Tres Reyes parades on Lanzarote will take place on January 5th at the following venues:
- Arrecife, 18.00 â€“ Three Kings Parade beginning at Avenida Vargas before heading down La Marina and Mancomunidad and ending up at Playa del Reducto.
- Costa Teguise, 18.00 â€“ Three Kings Parade.
- HarÃa, 16.30 â€“ Children’s reception at the harbour. Three Kings Parade through the streets from 20.30, theme is ‘The House of Herod’.
- Puerto del Carmen (Varadero), 17.00 â€“ The Three Kings arrive at the harbour.
- San BartolomÃ©, 19.00 â€“ Three Kings Parade departs from the High School and ends in Parque Felix Rodriguez de la Fuente with a performance from the group Gimnasia de AÃda Santana.
- Teguise, 18.00 -Â Children’s musical ‘Christmas in Disney’ followed by the Three Kings Parade, which is themed ‘A Thousand and One Nights’, through the streets of the old town of Teguise ending with hot chocolate in the Museo de Timple.
- Tinajo, 17.00 â€“ Three Kings will be in residence at San Roque prior to their parade at 17.00.