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Three Kings Fiesta

Posted by daveb on January 13th, 2008

Christmas Day is not such a big day here in Spain. Rather Three Kings Day, on the 6th of January, is traditionally the day that the children receive their presents from the New Testament’s Three Wise Men. The night before, each village in Spain throws a party to celebrate the coming of the Kings.

Santiago de la Ribera, the next village up the coast from us, throws a particularly good fiesta in which the Kings arrive by boat and then travel on horseback along the high street, flanked by carnival-style floats from which gifts and sweets are thrown by children in costume.

In all the weeks that we’ve lived in this area, Squiffy and I haven’t seen anything like the crowd that descended upon this village — parking our car was no trouble at all, so we’re left wondering where everybody came from. We really enjoyed the evening and were particularly amazed at Spain’s take on Health and Safety: Fireworks being set-off from an uncordoned patch of sand on the beach just next to us. Small children, each brandishing a flaming torch, squashed-in together on a boat. JCBs and tractors–front-mounted farming tools still attached–with six-foot high tyres rolling along the high street, the festival-goers at the back push the crowd forward as they try to get closer to the action whilst those at the front just try to avoid getting ploughed and/or flattened.

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