After celebrating Christmas in Germany and New Years‘ Eve here, I was really looking forward to January 6th. The Three Wise Men are the most important fiesta in Spain and bring gifts. The children send their letters to their favorite King and wait impatiently for the gifts early morning on Jan 6th. The night before the three Kings arrive in each town and I have heard of many beautiful customs along the Costa Blanca. In some towns the Kings arrive on a boat, on others they climb on ladders to hide the gifts in the people’s houses and other towns simply have a parade and the children get to touch the Kings, catch candy and enjoy the night.
The arrival of the three Kings in Elda in different, because the Three Kings enter the down coming down a hill and people join them with torches and lights. La Cabalgata, the parade, takes place in the whole city center and people line up hours before.
After the Cabalgata everyone goes home and enjoys Roscón with hot chocolate. The cake has a hole in the middle, like a crown and is filled with different toys, one dry bean and a figure of the king. The cake can also be filled with cream or chocolate, but we ate the traditional one and dipped it into thick chocolate. The person who eats the piece with the bean has to pay for the cake next year and I got the piece that included the king!
The next day, January 6th, we had a family lunch with eight people, lots of sea food, meat and vegetables. After the huge meal the Kings finally arrived at the apartment and it was time for all the gifts! I still cannot image celebrating Christmas without gifts but this holiday season we took it all in. Starting with Advent and Nikolaus in the beginning of December, our advent calendar with small gifts every day until Christmas Eve, Christmas in Germany and los Reyes Magos in Spain. We ended the holiday season filled with lots of good meals, sweets, chocolate and some pounds heavier :).