Night of the Three Kings: Parade, history and curiosities

The origin of the celebration of Twelfth Night (Three Kings night) from 5 to January 6 goes back to the ancient times for being an important day in which increases the brightness after the winter solstice of December 25, thereafter the days begin to get longer each time. Continue reading to know all about available parades in Malaga, facts and even if it’s going to rain that night.

Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar are the names of the Three Kings.

melchor-gaspar-baltasar

Night of the Three Kings on January the 5th

In the past the Three Kings distributed roles regarding giving out gifts, unfortunately for Balthazar he was in charge of giving coal (the real one, not sweet) stones or wood to children who had not done well. Gaspar gave candy or nuts and Melchior brought clothes and shoes; the gifts of those times were adapted to the needs of the moment.

three-kings

The Three Kings, as such, are not very widespread and are celebrated only in some Spanish-speaking countries, mainly because of Father Christmas or Santa Claus has prevailed, although both have the same origin.

There is variety in representing the Three Kings in Europe, in countries such as Italy its ‘La Befana’, a witch who seeks redemption and is responsible for bringing the good children presents and scare the bad ones.

In other countries like Germany is just a special day for Catholics, unlike in Spain where everyone celebrates. In Germany on that day there are no gifts or family meals; it is a day of charitable action.

Tradition says that the one who decides whether to give coal to the children is the Carbonilla, a page of the Three Kings.

Will they bring lots of charcoal? At Malagaweb.com we expect that you have behaved well and if they bring you charcoal, that is the sweet one you can eat.

The parade in 2018 (Cabalgata de Reyes)

The Three Kings parade in 2018 (Cabalgata de Reyes in Spanish) bring up to 12 tons of sweets which they throw everywhere from the cars. This year the parade is organized in three main blocks: Fantasy, Christmas and Royal Courtship.

Opening cars called Fantasy parade comes with characters of Star Wars and Alice in Wonderland among many others.

The Christmas cars parade comes with the royal pages, a ballet, angels decorated cars and shepherds next to a moving nativity scene.

Finally the Royal Courtship formation with acrobats and the decorated cars of Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar kings.

Traffic roads will be closed in Malaga centre due to the cavalcade from 12 at night on January 4 to the ending of the parade on January 5th.

Parade of the Three Kings – January activities

Melchor kingThe procession of the Three Kings (Cabalgata de Reyes) is a mainly Spanish tradition. The first parade which is recorded took place in 1876 in Alicante and thanks to its success it was expanding rapidly to other cities. In 1917 was the first Parade in Andalusia and today is a typical established tradition throughout the province.

In the beginning it was a day set for charity and the Parades were responsible for collecting toys for disadvantaged children; after many years this healthy habit was disappearing giving way to the typical candy being thrown from the coaches just before Twelfth Night when children wait for their gifts.

Will it rain the 5th of January?

There is a 15% probability of rainfall by January 5 this year, this probability will increase throughout the afternoon reaching 50% by 9 pm and more than 90% after midnight.

If you see some clouds before you go to the cavalcade of kings, don’t forget to take your umbrella with you.

Three kings parade in Malaga: Itineraries in January

Remember in Spanish you can ask about the ‘Cabalgata de Reyes in Malaga’ if you need orientation.

There are private chairs available for those who want to see the 3 Kings Parade from a comfortable place. Price for chairs rised in 2018 and are as follows:

  • 10€ first row sit
  • 8€ second row sit
  • 6€ third row sit at Paseo del Parque only.
  • 4€ fourth row sit. (new in 2018)

If you want to buy a chair for the Three Kings Parade you can do online (only in Spanish  at http://www.mientrada.net/) or by phone 902 646 289 (902 are high paid number calls, beware).

Beginning of the parade is at 5:00pm from Malaga Town Hall in January the 5th.

Itinerary of the parade

5:00pm Parade will officially begin at Malaga Town Hall.

6:00 pm General Torrijos Square to Paseo del Parque

  • Paseo del Parque
  • Plaza de la Marina
  • Alameda Principal
  • Puerta del Mar
  • Atarazanas
  • Plaza de Arriola
  • Pasillo de Santa Isabel
  • Carreteria
  • Calle Álamos
  • Plaza de la Merced

Parade itinerary map in 2018 and parking places

*We don’t know what parking places will be closed due traffic interruptions from 12 at night on January 4 to the ending of the parade on January 5th.

Cavalcades and schedules in other places of Málaga

In addition, the different districts of Malaga will have a cavalcade:

Eastern District: 4th January at 5.30 pm from the Virgen Milagrosa Square.

Bailén- Miraflores: 4th January at 5.30 pm from Ibrahim Street.

Cruz de Humilladero: January 4 from Conde de Guadalhorce Street from 5:00pm to 9:00 pm.

Carretera de Cádiz: 4th January at 10.30 am from calle Júcar

Churriana: 5th January at 5:30 pm from the Municipal Market and ends at 7:30 pm.

Campanillas: 5th January at 17:30 from Matisse Street.

Teatinos: January 6th at 6:00 pm from Max Estrella Street.

Parade itinerary in Torremolinos

The start of the parade will take place on January 5th in Torremolinos. There will be 10 carriages and 3 royal thrones.

Five tons of sweets will be distributed and the parade will end at 8:00 pm at the Torremolinos Town Hall.

5pm – Parade officially begins in Blas Infante Square.

  • Avda. Rafael Quintana
  • C/ Europa
  • Avda. Isabel Manoja
  • Avda. Los Manantiales
  • Plaza Costa del Sol
  • Avda. Joan Miró
  • Calle doctor Jiménez Encina
  • C/García de la Serna
  • Avda. Rafael Quintana
  • Ayuntamiento de Torremolinos

Parade itinerary in Benalmádena

At 4:30pm begins the parade in Benalmadena Pueblo

  • Recinto Ferial los Nadales
  • Calle San Miguel
  • Avenida del Chorrillo
  • Avenida Juan Luís Peralta
  • Calle Jerónimo Garriga
  • Calle Lomillas
  • Plaza de España
  • Calle Real
  • Avenida Juan Luís Peralta

Parade itinerary in Fuengirola

The arrival of the Three Kings will be  by helicopter, they will arrive shortly before the cavalcade.

There will be a total of 25 carriages in this year’s parade in Fuengirola that will take place on Thursday, January 4 and will travel the main streets and avenues. 30 tons of gluten-free jelly beans will be distributed.

The Medieval Festival will also take place in the city centre on Wednesday 3 January.

  • Calle Mallorca
  • Avenida de Mijas
  • Avenida Juan Gómez “Juanito”
  • Calle Camilo José Cela
  • Calle Molino de viento
  • Avenida Condes de San Isidro
  • Avda. Matías Sáenz de Tejada
  • Avenida Ramón y Cajal
  • Avda. de Los Boliches

Three Kings Parade in Mijas

The Three Kings will arrive by helicopter to the soccer field of Lagunas from where they will begin the cavalcade.

Las Lagunas: From 5:00 pm the parade will leave from the Parque de María Zambrano (lateral calle Velázquez), Miguel Hernández Avenue, Antonio Machado Street, Margarita Avenue, Camino Viejo de Coín, San Cristóbal Street, San Javier Street, La Unión Street, Mijas Avenue, Camino del Albero, Denmark Avenue, Geranio Street and arrival to Andalusia Park.

Mijas Pueblo: At 5:00 pm from the Virgen de la Peña square, Virgen de la Peña avenue, Avenida de la Peña, Avenida de Méjico, Plaza de la Paz, Málaga street, Plaza de la Libertad, Málaga street, Constitución square, Avenida del Compas and finish in Virgen de la Peña square.

La Cala de Mijas: At 5:00 pm from the Cultural Centre of Mijas, Marbella Street, Torreón Street, Torremolinos Street, Bulevar, Marbella Street, Cártama Street and will finish in the Butibamba Park.

Parade itinerary in Marbella

The kings arrive to Marbella on Thursday 4 January on board a boat and from there they will head to El Castillo de Marbella where they will spend the night.

5:00 pm: Disembarkation of the 3 Kings in the marina of Marbella

5:00/6:00 p. m.: Parade through the streets of downtown in vintage cars.

January 5

Parade through the streets of Marbella, San Pedro de Alcántara and Nueva Andalucía.

Routes and schedules from past year, they might change.

Marbella: 6 pm start in Guadalete Street (Building La Zambomba), Avenida Severo Ochoa, Avenida Ramon y Cajal, Avenida Ricardo Soriano and ending in Avenida Ricardo Soriano, corner Gregorio Marañon Street.

Nueva Andalucía: 3.30 pm start at Virgen Madre church, Avenida Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, calle Alvaro de la Iglesia, calle Lope de Vega, calle Garcilaso de la Vega, Avenida Miguel de Cervantes, calle Jorge Manrique and ending in Avenida Gustavo Adolfo Becquer.

San Pedro Alcantara: 6 pm start at fair grounds, Avenida Jorge Guillen, Avenida Pablo Picasso, calle Lagasca, calle Jerez, Avenida Marques del Duero, calle Hernan Cortes, calle 19 de octubre, Avenida Oriental and Plaza de la Iglesia.

Parade itinerary in Nerja

The Three Kings will arrive at the town hall of Nerja on 5 January at 4:00 pm and the cavalcade begins at 5:00 pm.

  • Parque Verano Azul
  • C/ Jaén
  • C/ Diputación
  • Calle Granada
  • Calle San Miguel
  • Plaza Cantarero
  • Pintada
  • Puerta del Mar
  • Finaliza en Balcón de Europa.

Parade itinerary in Ronda

On Friday January 5th the 3 kings arrive to Ronda by helicopter, they will land in Ciudad Deportiva.

Itinerary:

  • Rotonda Abogado de Oficio
  • Carrera Espinel
  • Calle Virgen de la Paz
  • Plaza de la Merced

Roscon de Reyes: History and curiosities

Roscón de ReyesThe origin of eating a ‘Roscon de Reyes’ for Twelfth Night dates back to Roman times; the Romans dedicated festivals to the god Saturn to celebrate the increase in brightness after the winter solstice. During the celebration they baked round cakes of figs, dates and honey which all social classes including slaves used to enjoy.

From the third century was introduced the dry bean into the sweet. Who got it was considered king of kings for a short period of time; this tradition continued in use and there are records of its use during the Middle Ages with small variations.

At present there is usually a treasure and a bean inside each cake being the one who the gets the bean responsible for paying it and the one who gets the treasure is the king of the house for a day.

Raúl G.T

Raúl G.T

Developer and content editor at Malagaweb.com
Travel blogger, web developer and content editor. Author of many of the travel guides and tips available online about Andalucia, Malaga and Spain.
Raúl G.T

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Travel blogger, web developer and content editor. Author of many of the travel guides and tips available online about Andalucia, Malaga and Spain.

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