In Catalonia and Spain the tradition of The Three Kings of Orient is deep-rooted. Even if it is a religious celebration about the adoration of Jesus nowadays it has lost its meaning to become an universal tradition for all children no matter which religion they believe in. In the 70’s-80’s agnostic people tried to replace Christmas for the celebration of winter solstice but it didn’t work. The Three Kings celebration is a magic celebration for all the children.
There are paradesto celebrate their arrival on 5th of Januaryin every city and town. Each parade adapts the way in which kings arrive depending on the area, for instance: In Barcelona and Tarragona they arrive by sea, in Puigerdà by train, in Baqueira by sleight,… But the common thing everywhere is children’s faces; nervous and overwhelmed they wait for giving their letters to the Kings and pick up candies thrown from the floats. Parents, though, are more nervous than them: to which one will they give their letters? Melcior, Gaspart or Baltazar?
For sure it is the night when kids go to sleep earlier without complaining; they know the day after will find their dreamed toys in their living rooms and balconies; they also know that afterwards they will receive more presents from grandparents and uncles. Adults always affirm that there are too many stuffbut next year The Kings will do the same. But,it isbecause children behaved really well every year!
Co-director of Amat.