Three Kings Parade, Christmas in - Andalucia

Baltazar's float, the Black King, everyone's favorite.

Three Wise Men or Three Kings parade or better known as "Cabalgata de los 3 Reyes Magos", is the biggest event for the children during the Christmas season in Spain.  January 6 is the day all kids open their gifts, if you were good, or get a lump of coal, if you were bad.

 On the eve of the holiday, in Andalusia, every town has its parade and there are many floats involved, three of them represent each King, "Melchor, Gazpar y Baltasar", the other floats are local businesses and sponsors.  Balthazar, the black king, is everyones favorite.

This float represents Sherry wine, with grapes
 and "venencia", a tool for sampling sherry from the barrel

In big cities like Seville, it is a great honor for famous folks to represent a king.   Many politicians, artists, even bullfighters wear the beard and crown and become King for a night.  Little kids dream about the goodies the 3 Kings will bring the next morning, but that night they are happy to catch candy and toys the fake kings throw from their floats.  WARNING, keep your eyes on the kings helpers, they will throw candy with the strength of a pitcher and if not careful you may end up at the ER.  Seriously! :-)

Kings from the Orient 
Throwing candy at the crowd.  Watch out!!

Streets are really crowded, everyone is waiting for the "Reyes".

Floats start around 5 and parade through downtown until about 10 pm.  Fireworks follow, to bid farewell to the Kings.  Everybody, young and old, comes to the parade and watch the floats go by.  Some follow the Kings all the way to the end, but others are content with watching them for a bit, then head to the nearest churro stand and delight themselves with some hot chocolate and churros (crunchy sugary fried dough).

Even Gibraltar has a Parade!  Look at all the people from
Spain walking to Gibraltar to watch the parade.

Gibraltar.  This float is a school on wheels!

Happy Three Kings Day!

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