Why Spanish children have the best of both worlds.

Traditionally, Spanish children have received presents on the eve of Reyes Magos (the Three Kings) rather than at Christmas, however in recent years they have also received Christmas presents.  I remember reading a Spanish newspaper where they were asking children which fiesta they preferred.  One child said Reyes Magos, because it was traditional, however another child preferred Papa Noel, because he gave them presents regardless of their behaviour, whereas the Three Kings only gave presents to good children!

John and I decided to go and watch the Reyes Magos procession on 5th January as we knew from the previous year that it would be a colourful event. 

Children had already written letters for their Majesties and had left them earlier in the special postbox at the Teatro Vico.  Later in the day the Reyes had received the Magic Key from the Mayor, so that they could enter homes in Jumilla to leave presents for well-behaved children. 

We joined the excited children standing outside the tourist office, to watch the procession setting off at 6pm to parade around Jumilla. At the back was a lorry bearing presents, followed by one laden with coal for the naughty children!

Sweets, snacks and small presents were being handed out to the children watching the procession, and some of the watching pensioners were also given some snacks by participants who recognised us standing there!

Last year the procession had included St Bernard dogs and a black pig, for some unknown reason that even our Spanish friends could not explain to us.  This year they were missing (hopefully nobody had roasted the pig!) however there were plenty of horses in their place.  We enjoyed watching the various floats going past us: as well as the horses there were different local groups all in fancy dress, with the Three Kings near the back, followed by a fire engine.  Last year we had watched a couple of people being “rescued” by the firemen, which apparently was a traditional part of the celebration.   Right at the back were the lorry loaded up with presents and the lorry bearing coal.

We also enjoyed listening to the band from our barrio of San Juan, la Banda de Cornetas y Tambores La Misericordia.   They were wearing colourful outfits for the procession so at first we didn´t recognise them.

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  1. Sue Walker’s avatar

    Please leave your comments on this post!

  2. Jacqui’s avatar

    Your 3 Kings parade sounds a bigger affair than ours.

    We were disappointed that our Carnival parade in February, was cancelled due to snow, looks like we’ll have to wait for the summer Carnivals to start to get our photos.