Hola From Tenerife

Subscribe to our free newsletter to get an (ir)regular ray of Tenerife sunshine in your inbox. Just enter your email address below.

Delivered by FeedBurner

Close

COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

Fiestas and large gatherings are still prohibited with social distancing and other restrictions still in force. Events listed here, therefore, are subject to cancellation or change and we will update, when and if any new information is made available.

Please like and follow our facebook page for more updates >>

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Los Reyes Magos (Three Kings) Bearing Gifts

Arrival of the King

The real high-spot of the holiday season in Spain and the Canary Islands is when the gifts arrive with Los Reyes Magos - The Three Kings - (this seems logical, if you follow the original story) on their camels. In case you've forgotten the three are:

  • Melchor: An old man with a white beard. His gift to Jesus is gold, representing his royalty.
  • Gaspar: A swarthy skinned young man. His gift is incense, which represents Jesus' divinity.
  • Baltasar: A black man. His gift to Jesus is myrrh, which represents his suffering and future death.

On the night of January 5th, you should put water and straw out for the camels and leave your shoes in a prominent place in a main room before you go to bed, next to which The Kings will leave your gifts - if you've been good. If not, you may get coal instead!

(You can buy little sacks of black-dyed honeycomb candy for your little rogues.)

Their Majesties are received by Herod

Most towns have parades through the streets on the night of January 5, with the Three Wise Guys arriving from the Orient on their camels. They throw sweets into the crowd for the children of all ages. In Santa Cruz these popular characters can fill a football stadium, where these modern monarchs arrive by helicopter. In ports, such as Los Cristianos, the last leg of their journey from the Orient used to be on one of the inter-island ferries.

Their Cabalgata in Garachico, Tenerife, was slated to begin at 7 p.m. (yes, but where the "caravan" began, on foot, way up in the mountains) and carried on until after midnight. (Get there early for parking though.) Accompanied by the whole town's youth, many dressed as Roman soldiers - carrying out their duties VERY seriously indeed - Their Majesties are received by Herod at the entrance to the town by the Castle, before making progress along the main streets & culminating in a Regal Pageant in the town square.

Garachico Town Hall doubles as the Kings' Palace

Fireworks crackled, drummers drummed (loudly), a fanfare resounded to announce the arrival of the cavalcade ... As horses and camels speed into the arena - real close between the seating laid out for the audience! (Guess who had an aisle seat?)

After a live reenactment of the entire Christmas Story, complete with real live donkey, goats, sheep and even a human baby ... the Kings address the crowd from the palace Town Hall balcony, then take their thrones to begin dishing out gifts to a long list of kids, not just from Garachico, but from all over the island and even abroad.

Before that, the local children put on a show and, just to make sure this doesn't become an entirely spoilt "commercial venture", a film reminds us all of less fortunate kids in Africa, Asia, South America and other parts of the world. Us (so-called) grown-ups were way too tired to hang around right to the very end of the line.

The scene is set outside the Church of Los Angeles

Traditional to eat on January 6, is Roscón de Reyes, a "crown" or ring-shaped bread, decorated with "jewels" of glacé fruits, which contains surprise gifts and a supposedly unlucky bean somewhere inside.

The year's second largest Lottery, El Niño, is also drawn on this day. This creates a bit of excitement in the Canary Islands, because, historically, this draw has been more likely than the big Christmas Draw, El Gordo, to drop the odd decent prize on the islands.

With Epiphany being on January 6th, it seems that Spanish Christmas holidays go on forever, but this is THE BIG DAY when everyone will have time off to be with their family. Many in the tourist sector worked on Christmas Day.

Santa Claus, better known here as Papa Noel, is gaining popularity in Spain, appearing alongside Los Reyes Magos and he may bring a few presents on Christmas Eve - the justification is that it gives the kids more time to enjoy their new toys whilst they still have school holidays to amuse themselves in. The custom on the 6th is you get taken around to see what everyone got (with adults naturally feigning much surprise), which is great because you get to play with everyone's toys! Now I must go and get some straw ...

No comments:

Secret Tenerife Needs Your Support: We don't get paid for our work, which takes many hours of research, translation, etc. Therefore, if you can and find this site interesting or useful, please consider making a donation.

Tenerife Topics

Adeje Almond Flower Route April in Tenerife Arafo Arico Arona Ash Wednesday Auditorio de Tenerife August in Tenerife Brexit Buenavista del Norte Burial of the Sardine Canarian Cuisine Canaries Day Candelaria Candelmas Carnaval de Día Carnival 1987 Carnival 1988 Carnival 1989 Carnival 1990 Carnival 1991 Carnival 1992 Carnival 2001 Carnival 2002 Carnival 2003 Carnival 2004 Carnival 2005 Carnival 2006 Carnival 2007 Carnival 2008 Carnival 2009 Carnival 2010 Carnival 2011 Carnival 2012 Carnival 2013 Carnival 2014 Carnival 2015 Carnival 2016 Carnival 2017 Carnival 2018 Carnival 2019 Carnival 2020 Carnival 2021 Carnival 2022 Carnival Foods Carnival Main Parade Carnival Queen Santa Cruz Carnival Queens 2001-2020 Carnivals of the World Children's Carnaval Parade Chinyero Christmas in Tenerife Christopher Columbus Comparsas Corpus Christi COVID-19 Craft Fairs Daytime Carnival December in Tenerife Día de San José Easter in Tenerife El Gordo Christmas Lottery El Rosario El Sauzal El Tanque Epidemics in Tenerife Farmers Markets Fasnia February in Tenerife Fiestas El Palmar Flavours of Christmas Garachico Granadilla de Abona Guía de Isora Güímar History of Carnival History of Tenerife Icod de los Vinos Innocent Saints January in Tenerife Jardín Botánico July in Tenerife June in Tenerife Junior Carnival Queen La Gomera La Guancha La Matanza de Acentejo La Orotava La Siervita La Victoria de Acentejo Las Burras de Güímar Las Celias de Tenerife Los Cristianos Los Cristianos Carnival Los Gigantes Los Gigantes Carnival Los Indianos Los Realejos Los Reyes Los Silos March in Tenerife Masca Mascarita Ponte Tacón May in Tenerife Monuments and Sculptures in Santa Cruz Municipal Holidays Municipalities Fiestas Nelson's Attack on Santa Cruz 25 Jul 1797 New Year in Tenerife Nochebuena November in Tenerife October in Tenerife Opening Parade Parade of Vintage Cars Public Holidays Puerto de la Cruz Puerto de la Cruz Carnival Recipes for All Saints Day Rhythm and Harmony Comparsas Romería de San Roque Romerías San Andrés San Antonio Abad San Cristóbal de La Laguna San Juan de la Rambla San Miguel de Abona San Sebastián Santa Cruz de Tenerife Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival Themes Santa Úrsula Santiago del Teide Senior Carnival Queen September in Tenerife Shrove Tuesday Simón Bolívar Summer Carnival Tacoronte Tegueste Tenerife Carnival Dates Tenerife Disaster Tenerife Fire Tenerife Month by Month Tenerife Museums Tenerife Rally Tenerife Walking Festival Tenerife Weather Tenerife Wines Teno Rural Park This Is Tenerife (TIT) Town Halls in Tenerife Traditional Fiestas Tropical Storm Delta Vilaflor de Chasna