Three Kings Day, better known as Reyes or Reyes Magos, is a Christian holiday that commemorates the visit of the Magi or the Three Wise Men, to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. The holiday is celebrated on January 6th and is one of the most important celebrations in the Christian calendar, marking the end of the Christmas season. In Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Three Kings Day is celebrated with a grand parade featuring the traditional Three Kings, along with other traditions and events that showcase the rich culture and history of the island.
Three Kings Day is a celebration that has been observed since the 4th century, and is based on the biblical story of the Magi, who were guided by a star to the birthplace of Jesus. They brought him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, as a symbol of their recognition of Jesus as the King of the Jews. The holiday is celebrated on January 6th, which is believed to be the day that the Magi arrived in Bethlehem, and the day that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.
The grand parade is the most iconic tradition of the Three Kings Day celebration in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The parade features the traditional Three Kings, Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar, who are dressed in regal robes and crowns, and ride on horseback or in carriages. They are accompanied by a large entourage of people dressed in costumes and carrying gifts for the children. The parade route is lined with thousands of people who come out to watch the parade and catch sweets and small toys thrown by the Three Kings.
Roscón de Reyes
Another traditional aspect of Three Kings Day is the “Roscón de Reyes”, which is a sweet bread that is typically enjoyed on this day. It is a round, sweet bread that is decorated with candied fruit and nuts. The bread is usually shared among family and friends and is a symbol of the sharing and generosity that the holiday represents.
In addition to the parade, there are a variety of events that take place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria to celebrate Three Kings Day. These include musical performances, cultural events, and fireworks displays. Many local churches also hold special services to commemorate the holiday. The island is filled with music and dance, streets are decorated with lights and ornaments, and many people dress in traditional costumes.
Cabalgata de Reyes
One of the most popular events is the “Cabalgata de Reyes” which is a horseback parade that takes place in the historical district of Vegueta. The parade features riders dressed in traditional costumes and is followed by a concert and a fireworks display.
Another event that is a must-see is the “Feria de Reyes” which is a fair that takes place in the city center. The fair features a variety of food, drink, and craft vendors, as well as live music and entertainment. It’s a great place to experience the island’s rich culture and traditions.
Three Kings Day is a beloved holiday in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, celebrated with a grand parade, traditional customs, and various events. The holiday marks the end of the Christmas season and is a time for families to come together and celebrate the gifts of the Magi to the baby Jesus. It is a joyful and festive celebration that showcases the island’s rich culture, history, and traditions, and is enjoyed by people of all ages. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to the island, Three Kings Day is an event that should not be missed.
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