…Ya vienen los Reyes Magos, ya vienen los Reyes Magos caminito de Belén, olé olé Holanda olé… Dear reader, if you have read this while singing, it is because Three Kings Day is also your favorite day of Christmas and in many cases the favorite day of the whole year.
And yes, we all know that it is a magical day for the little ones, the best possible way to close the Christmas vacations, but there are cases like mine, in which the tradition of the Three Kings is lived the same no matter if you are 3 years old or 75. It has always been the big day in my house and the Three Wise Men have truly granted miracles to my family.
Where does the tradition of the Three Wise Men come from?
It is a Christian tradition, where the three Wise Men from the East celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus by bringing him gifts; as there were no ride-on toys, stuffed animals or Playmobils, they brought him Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, which were undoubtedly the gifts of the time, representing divinity, holiness and justice, and finally bitterness, suffering and anguish. Yes, it’s all very appropriate for a newborn baby, how Mary could have done with a pack of diapers!
It is true that this story raises some doubts, nowhere does it say that they were magical people, nor are their names specified, nor that they were kings, not even that there were three of them. Moreover, according to what I have been able to find out by surfing the net, it is not until the III Century a. c. when it was established that they could be kings, since until then, due to their gifts and the iconographies that represented them, they were only considered to be wealthy people. It was in that century when it was established that there were three, one for each gift, since until then there were different versions, with other churches assuring that there were 12 kings and not only three. (A pity that this did not prosper, because if with three Kings the thing is spectacular, imagine with 12).
In any case, it became a tradition that the night before the birth, the night of the Three Kings, there was a children’s party with gifts for the children, somewhat imitating what was already done in other countries on Christmas Day, in honor of St. Nicholas.
Do you know when the first parade was held in Spain?
In 1866 the first Three Kings Parade was celebrated in Alcoy, Alicante, continuing the tradition until today. Our Majesties parade accompanied by pages, various characters, candies and gifts through all the streets of our country, making the afternoon pass quickly for the little ones waiting for the coveted gifts that, according to homes and personal traditions, will arrive in the morning or even that same night.
The Kings arrive in different ways depending on the place, in Gijón for example they arrive by the Cantabrian Sea (which has left us some funny images on television), in some areas of the Pyrenees, as it could not be otherwise, they arrive on skis and so they can appear on a tractor, horse, even on real camels.
This is what the Three Wise Men Parade of Estepona will look like in 2024
How are the Three Wise Men celebrated in Estepona?
The magic begins on the morning of January 5, where their majesties make their triumphal entry into our town through… You might be thinking that, being Estepona a fishing village, the means of transport that will bring the kings will be the boat… well… NO. Their majesties have always arrived in HELICOPTER! Of course, first they take a ride around town in a convertible.
Traditionally they made their masterful arrival at the San Fernando Soccer Field where all the children were waiting like crazy to deliver their letters and collect some candy. Since we have the Fair and Leisure Grounds, there is no better place for our royal helicopter to arrive. There they land safely, greeting all the children and adults who have been anxiously awaiting their arrival for a year. They walk closely and go to their royal thrones where the distribution of candies and balls begins as a small foretaste of what will happen in the afternoon.
So if you want to deliver your letter, enjoy children’s music with the “cantajuegos” and see their Majesties the Three Wise Men change their exotic camels for a large helicopter, do not miss it, come to their welcome party. January 5 at 11.00. at the Recinto Ferial.
And then… The Three Kings parade in Estepona.
The best is yet to come! The great Three Kings Parade! As in all cities and towns in this country on January 5 in the afternoon we will all gather in the street to see the royal entourage pass by, and I warn you that in Estepona they do not throw candy, they LEAVE CARAMELS! This year more than 15,000 kilos of candy will be distributed, almost the same as those distributed in Malaga capital and is that in this town there is no misery, although it should be remembered that not every year has been so. There were some municipal problems that forced their majesties to share floats, and sometimes the economic crisis affects even royalty.
You’ll think I’m exaggerating with the candy rain, but it’s as real as you read it and not only will candy fall like there’s no tomorrow, but they’ll also throw balls, toys and anything else that’s suitable for not cracking anyone’s head open. Most likely, you’ll take home so much candy that it will last you through the summer.
Their Majesties this year will arrive in Estepona no more and no less than from the land of fantasy, will be accompanied by a parade full of magic, which will make the little ones dream, music, pastorals and a large royal entourage.
What is the route of the Three Wise Men parade in Estepona?
It will start at 17.00 from Avenida Andalucía n.º1 (for those of you who are Esteponeros Esteponeros, just where the Colegio San José is located, crossing with Avenida Litoral) will advance along Avenida Andalucía filling the streets of illusion and candy until you reach Avenida Juan Carlos I. At this point you must be attentive to the traffic cut so you do not get the wrong road and after getting a good place you will only see cars passing.
The Royal retinue will continue its way through the remodeled Avenida España, splurging generosity through lights and palm trees until it reaches the main street of our town, Terraza Street. Even if you have already seen the parade in any of the previous places, I recommend that you save a little bit of illusion for this place because here it really rains candy!
The parade comes to an end at the Botanical Orchid Park where children will be able to deliver their letters to their Royal Majesties.
Well, now it’s time to go to bed, nervous and excited with the wish that our dreams come true and the Three Kings bring us everything we have asked for. Do not forget to leave cookies, milk, water for the camels and some restorative candy, so that their majesties have strength all night in their legendary task. Here’s a little trick my grandfather taught me, sleep with your fists tightly clenched to make the night go by faster.
Happy Noche de Reyes, dear reader, don’t let the child in you lose the illusion.