Welcoming the Tres Reyes, or Three Kings, to Barcelona (Glen)

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Friday, January 6, was Epiphany.

Epiphany is a celebration to honor the three kings, or magi, who travel to meet the baby Jesus and bring gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. This is the day that children in Spain (and Latin America) open their Christmas presents.

Families also enjoy a special meal together. One of the main treats of the meal is the tres reyes cake. Below was our delicious cake, with the king, that I found in the cake on the first bite!

The day before Epiphany, January 5, is day that the three kings arrive in Barcelona (via ship) at Port Vell.  It’s a big deal. Barcelona town officials give the kings the key to the city and one of the kings gave a speech. Music and pageantry.

After the speeches at the port, the kings parade through town. This takes them three hours. Honestly, it seemed like the entire town turned out to watch the parade. This was easily the biggest crowd of people that I’ve been in. Children give letters to the kings asking for specific presents that they would like to receive. It was an incredible spectacle. Here are some pics.



The last two floats in the parade have canons that shoot candy into the crowds and up the to top balconies. Crazy amounts of candy are blasted into the crowds. Children with bags scramble to grab up the sweets. This could never happen in the States…too many lawsuits from hard candy raining down on people. That’s a shame, because the candy cannons are a riot.

Finally, here are a couple of videos of the singing and dancing.  Enjoy!


  1. Lezlee Knowles says

    This is fascinating! We had no idea that epiphany is celebrated with such joy. Thank you for including us in all you are experiencing. Blessings for this New Year, dear friends. We miss you!


  2. Molly Calhoun says

    We always loved the Swiss celebration of Epiphany….complete with “King’s Bread” and a child whose piece held the plastic king being crowned for the day. He could boss around his siblings all day! But also, it was a big deal in the churches and reminded us the Incarnation is full of mystery – today and historically. Thanks for sharing.


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