The Big Three (Kings, that is)

Happy Three Kings, everyone! Epiphany in the religious calendar.

January 5th, yesterday, the three wise men arrived in Spain. In the US, we track Santa via NORAD. In Spain, the kings arrive via mutile means. Camel, donkey, boats. Depending upon where you are.

Melchor, Gaspar, and Balthazar are the biggest trio in the Spanish Christmas season. Much bigger than Santa Claus. This day, I would argue, is bigger than Christmas itself. In Eastern Orthodox tradition, this is known as Orthodox Christmas.

The Letters

The letters children write to their favorite wise man (king) is the whole thing. And they flock to malls to deliver them in person.

Something tells me this guy isn’t one of the Big Three

Last evening, Jeff and I drove into Lugo to go to Leroy Merlin (Lowe’s of Spain). In the mall attached we found the nearly empty thrones. We must have just missed them😉. Unless they left a man behind. But this guy didn’t look like any of the Kings.

Roscones de Reyes

The kings cake or donut, is everywhere. You can even find it gluten-free in the freezer section at your local grocery store. Bakery windows are filled with them. And, they are piled high in the grocery stores.

Sometimes it has fruit. Other times it doesn’t. It can have toys in it, as well. We saw that in Valencia.

I love seeing the faces of the children as they scramble for the candy at the parades. And to see all the amazing costumes and acrobats. Valencia’s Three Kings Parade was an epic more than three hour cavalcade or sights and sounds. I look into the faces of the parents, passing along beloved traditions. And I remember the joy of doing that myself. Taking such pleasure in the wonder in your child’s eyes. Seeing the world as they see it. The magic 🪄 If just for a moment.

This is the first year since the start of Covid that the parades welcoming the kings has been held. We didn’t go into town to see them. Jeff was working until seven last night, and there is no way we would have found parking in Lugo or Santiago in time, going that late. Next year we will go, as it will be a Saturday. We will plan our parade strategy with chairs, blankets, and some adult hot chocolate. Perhaps make a plan with friends. And, once again, like children, enjoy the wonder that is the arrival of the Three Kings in Spain.

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