A spectacular procession led by the Three Kings through the streets of Madrid on Tuesday (January 5) hailed the twelfth day of Christmas.
A spectacular procession led by the Three Kings through the streets of Madrid on Tuesday (January 5) hailed the twelfth day of Christmas. Princess Sophia, wife of Prince Juan Carlos, heir to the Spanish throne, watched the traditional procession with their three children.
In Spain, children receive their gifts on the Twelfth Day of Christmas, and not on Christmas day itself. And the gifts are brought by the Three Wise Men instead of Santa Claus.
Against a background of fireworks, and accompanied by a band, the procession of floats depicting scenes from the nativity curled through the streets of Madrid. All though the city, children watched the procession and happily sang and laughed in expectation of the coming gifts. Good children receive gifts in shoes they leave out, but bad children receive only lumps of coal.
Behind the Wise Men came donkeys loaded with gifts. The procession follows a two-mile route to the ancient Plaza Mayor. There, Madrid's mayor and part of the Spanish Royal family greeted the wise men, and gifts were placed as offerings around a crib.