Well a little time has passed since Kings’ Day and its very particular Kings’ Day parades. But then again, quite a bit more than a little time has passed as well since I last posted, I think. So, better late than never I guess.
Well, first, a little bit of history, because I imagine that in the greater part of the world you do not celebrate Kings’ Day, do you?
Kings’ Day is actually what in many places is referred to as the “Twelfth Day of Christmas”, as in: “On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me……..” (I don’t know what her true love gave to her). It is also known as Epiphany and in some religious circles, Christmas is actually celebrated on this day, and not on Dec. 25. The reason why there are twelve days is, I suppose, because that was how long it took the Three Kings of Orient to cross the immense desert and travel to Bethlehem, hence the name Kings’ Day.
The Three Kings brought gifts for the baby, so now do they also bring gifts for every little Spanish girl and boy.
Kings’ Day is a very festive occasion, perhaps a Spanish equivalent, I suppose, to Thanksgiving, seeing as Thanksgiving doesn’t exist in Spain. Families gather together and have a great meal with lots of fun and laughter. Of course sharing in the “roscón de Reyes”, a lovely cake which unfortunately it didn’t occur to me to make a photo of, is fundamental in this family meal.
Well, supposedly the Three Kings arrive in Spain on the eve of Kings’ Day, also known as Twelfth Night, as in Shakespeare’s play. I guess traditionally they might have arrived by camel, but nowadays they make use of every modern gadget such as arriving by boat, airplane and helicopter, bearing gifts to all.
On this very important Twelfth Night, or the eve of Kings’ Day, there are grand parades everywhere. All at night, of course. Sort of like the Rose Parade, but in the dark of the night.
As the floats pass on by, the people who are riding on the floats toss out candies and caramels to the crowd, and all the children (and some adults too) scramble to fill their baggies with as many of these caramels as possible. We used to do that too, but we hate candies and caramels and never eat them. I used to hang them up behind the kitchen door, thinking maybe one day I could put them to good use, until one day I discovered them all melted into one big sloshy sugary mess. That’s Malaga summers for you!
You can tell that this is Malaga, home of Holy Week processions. Even in an event geared to children, the religious floats have a place for themselves.
From these photos, it might look like it’s a relaxed and comfortable, spacious sort of atmosphere. A few spectators present, of course, as might be expected in a parade. But for the most part, nice and easy, right? Well look again: