Have you experienced Three Kings on the Costa del Sol yet? This is a very special time of year in Spain. It takes place on the 5th of January, and is the equivalent of Christmas Eve, when Spanish kids know that the Kings will come during the night and leave them their presents. To welcome the Three Kings there are magical parades through the streets of all the towns and villages. If you have kids, you can’t miss this experience, but when you’re renting long term on the Costa del Sol you need to experience Three Kings like a local and do things right!
Here is our essential guide on how to experience it like a local –
Planning – First you need to find out the route and what time the parade will leave the starting point. Then you need to work out where the best place will be to stand and watch the show. If you are going with a big family or large group, look for a restaurant with an outside terrace just back from the road. If you can sit yourself there and have some food while the crowds form, you’ll be relaxed and not mind if it’s all running late (which it usually is). We used to go to a place with a slightly raised terrace so those of us who were not on sweet catching duty could stand up and see the parade, in comfort – it was ideal!
Know what to expect – The parade will slowly move from the start to the finish point, with marching bands and blaring music from the floats. They will stop often along the route and it can take much longer than you’d expect. People on the floats will be throwing sweets down onto the crowds and this causes a mad dash to grab as many sweets as you can. Don’t be polite, get in there with the rest of them and enjoy the chaos. Expect to get a few direct hits from the sweets, it’s a bit of a surprise at first but very funny.
What to bring and what to wear – It can get a bit chilly standing and waiting for the parade, so make sure the kids are wrapped up warm. If possible, put them in something really bright and distinctive, as there is always a lot of people and it’s great if you can easily spot them. A hat or a hood is a good idea for protection against the flying sweets. You need to bring a bag to put the sweets in and you’ll see the professionals with umbrellas. Not to protect them against rain, but to turn upside down and use to catch more sweets in!
What to do afterwards – The parade varies in length depending on the size of the town or village, but it’s always great fun. If you’ve found a restaurant or bar on the route then you can enjoy staying around, if not, follow the crowds into the tapas bars and restaurants for drinks and food and enjoy the brilliant atmosphere.
We hope this guide has helped you to experience Three Kings like a local and do things right. Let us know how you got on!
Remember that we’re here to help you to make the most of your life in Spain, by providing fantastic long-term rental properties and lots of support and advice. Contact us to find out how we can help you find the right place to live in 2020.