Los Reyes Magos: Spain’s Christmas Holiday Tradition And Celebration

If you are starting to feel a little blue that the Christmas season is coming to an end, you’ll be happy to hear that the Spanish holiday traditions are still here to be celebrated. Los Reyes Magos is Spain’s Christmas holiday and celebration! 

Three Wise Men Los Reyes Magos

Image by Pixabay

In Spain and Spanish culture, Santa Claus isn’t the star of the show during the festive seasons. Instead, the Three Wise Men, in Spanish called “Los Reyes Magos” who are the most popular amongst the Spanish and bring the children gifts the night of the 5th January to be opened on the 6th. 

While many Spanish families have also embraced the traditional Christmas on the 24th and 25th December with drinks and food, it’s Los Reyes Magos who are the most important.

Who are “Los Reyes Magos”? 

According to Catholic traditions, the three wise men came to visit the newborn baby Jesus shortly after his birth. They went by the names Melchior, Caspar and Balthzazr and arrived with several gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 

Los Reyes Magos Celebration

Photo by Robert Thiemann Unsplash

For the Spanish, the traditions continue with getting gifts if the children have been well behaved. However, for those children that were not good during the year they may receive carbon or coal instead of presents. 

The Three King Parades 

The Three King Parades, which is also known as La Cabalgata De Reyes Magos takes place on the 5th January and consists of floats for each of the Kings along with dancers, musicians and puppeteers. 

Thousands of parades take place throughout Spain on the 5th January. During the parade the kings throw sweets and candy down to the children who are watching the parade go by in their local towns with their families. 

Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic crisis there are no parades taking place this year.

The Three Kings Day Cake: Roscon De Reyes

One of the most common food items you will see in Spain during the festive holidays is a large bagel-shaped cake, cut in half and filled with a creamy filling. 

Roscon de Reyes

Roscon De Reyes. Credit: Pequerecetas

Additionally, inside the cake there are usually two objects, a black bean which is also know a “haba”, or a king. Whoever eats the slice of cake with the king, will be the king for the day and will have good luck the rest of the year, whereas the person who gets the “haba” will have to pay for the cake the following year. 

Feliz Dia De Reyes! Will you be celebrating “Los Reyes Magos” this year?