Cabalgata de los Reyes – part II

I felt like a 5-year-old again.

We arrived at the port around 3:30 pm to wait for the arrival of the three kings, scheduled for 5:30. There was a stage set up for the kings to greet the crowds before proceeding to the Port Authority building where they were received by the mayor, who gave them bread & salt as symbols of hospitality and the keys of the city. Around 4:30 they started playing Arabic music to get everyone in the mood and around 5 pm one of Their Majesties pages went on stage and introduced some of the other pages and the royal postmen (special pages responsible for collecting the letters that kids brought for the three kings). Everything was elaborately produced and well choreographed. The kids were totally entranced. And so was I.

Here’s what the area looked like 2 hours before the event:

Port of Barcelona

And here is the same place at 5 pm:

Port of Barcelona

As I explained in a previous post, the kings arrived by boat, a massive three-masted sail boat that is usually kept at the maritime museum. And here’s their arrival:

The three kings

From left to right we have Baltasar, Gaspar & Mechior, who according to the Spanish tradition hail from the Middle East, the Himalayas & Nubia (between Egypt and Sudan) respectively. I really enjoy this tradition because not only it has more to do with the nativity than Santa Claus, but also because it gives children a chance to get exposed to multiculturalism. The three kings (aka magi or wise men) are supposed to represent the three corners of the world, which in Biblical times meant Asia, Middle East & Africa. So all the clothes, music, props, evoked the cultures of that part of the world. In homogeneous Spain, it felt like a breath of fresh air. It was also quite fun to watch the kids clenching their letters addressed to “SS Majestades los Reyes” address “Oriente”.

We watched the kings disembark and then we went to Via Laietana to wait for the parade, during which the kings and their retinue were supposed to distribute 15 tons of candy. Here are a few more shots.

Kings greeting the mayorExciting childStar of BethlehemAngelsFriendly helpers




If you want to read more on Santa Claus vs Los Reyes, here’s a campaign in favour of the three kings (in spanish): click here


Author: guerson

Born and raised in Brazil, a Canadian stole my heart and took me to Canada in 1999. After seven years between Montreal and Toronto, we then moved to Barcelona, Spain, where I did research for my PhD thesis. This blog began as a chronicle of our adventures while living in Barcelona and exploring the old world and has acquired a life of its own after we moved back to Canada.

6 thoughts on “Cabalgata de los Reyes – part II”

  1. Muito legal as tuas fotos! Eu estava na Via Laietana, mas cheguei tarde, e nao deu pra ver nada. Agora entendi tudo que eu via passar! Bueno, ainda trabalho na galeria, mas nao tenho um schedule. Durante a semana, qualquer dia que voce quiser, a gente marca uma hora e vai la. Como trabalho em casa, sou bem flexivel!

  2. Alexandra,

    Incrivel! Feliz Dia de los Reyes! This must have felt so magical. As fotos ficaram lindas. Eu adoraria poder visitar Barcelona durante essa epoca (eu estive la no verao ha muitos anos).

    Eu celebrei o Dia de Reis numa festa que a minha amiga mexicana faz todos os anos. Escrevi sobre isso hoje tambem la no blog. E’ muito interessante ver como culturas diferentes celebram esse dia.

    Antes que eu me esqueca, Feliz Ano Novo! Que 2007 lhe traga muitas viagens, aventuras, surpresas agradaveis, saude, amor e realizacoes pessoais e professionais.



  3. Alexandra,

    Eu coloquei um link para o seu post la’ no meu blog. Gostei muito de saber mais sobre a tradicao na Espanha. E as fotos ficaram maravilhosas.



  4. Regina,

    Obrigada! Para dizer a verdade eu não fiquei muito satisfeita com as fotos – o angulo em que estavamos nos impediu de tirar fotos melhores do palco onde foram as apresentações. Eu tirei várias fotos na minha maquina SLR mas como é de filme, eu ainda tenho que levar pra revelar. Vamos ver como vão ficar…

    E se tiver a oportunidade, venha sim nessa epoca a Barcelona. Vale a pena.


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