It used to bother me that Spanish children did not receive their Christmas presents until the arrival of the Three Kings on January 6; it seemed cruel. All throughout the holidays they would have nothing to play with and then, the very next day after getting all those gifts, have to go back to school.
I don’t have to worry so much now as even though this date is still the most emblematic and significant here in Spain the children normally do also get one or two things from Santa on the 25th to tide them over. I’m not usually that keen on introducing our traditions into Spain but in this instance: Phew!
I personally love this particular holiday. Firstly it means that the festive season lasts much longer, which is joyous in itself but I also have such very fond memories of my children at the parades that just the thought of this seasonal Spanish tradition warms my heart.
Apart from the procession this year the Marbella Town Hall has turned the Paseo de la Alameda into a theme park and will have Royal postmen in the Church Squares of Marbella and San Pedro from 11 until 1.30pm and 5 – 9pm from January 2 to 4 for any last minute gift requests to their Royal majesties.
The parades on January 5 known locally as a ‘Cabalgata’ start at 6pm. For those in Marbella the route starts off at Avenida Severo Ochoa (Edif La Zambomba), then to Avenida Ramón y Cajal, Avenida Ricardo Soriano and ends in the Plaza Monseñor Rodrigo Bocanegra (by the copper tower / Exhibition Centre).
The Three Kings however will also arrive in San Pedro by helicopter no less just before the parade and then the 12 floats will leave from Avenida Pablo Ruiz Picasso to Calle Lagasca, crossing the main roundabout of the Boulevard to continue along Avenida Juan Vargas, then to Luis Braille finishing in the new palm tree lined viewpoint.
The main attraction for the youngsters will undoubtedly be the 3,000 sweets that will be thrown from the floats as they go by (watch out they don’t hit you in the eye!!)
The atmosphere will be totally different in Marbella to San Pedro, both equally as fun, plus of course you can watch local and national processions on all Spanish TV channels.
Even if you don’t go as I said I think we’re blessed that we can continue the ‘Christmas’ spirit a few days longer, keeping up our childish wonder and hopefully continuing to extend good will to all.
If we could keep it up all year that would be even better and perhaps I am wishing on a star, but the Three Kings took a big leap of faith following their star and I still truly believe that with a touch of humility and humanity we can all have a very hopeful, helpful and happy 2020 ☺ (and every year thereafter).