MADRID – The Three Kings have been leading dozens of processions around Spain, bestowing gifts and kindness while protected by geared-up security measures amid the rain or snow falling across the country, while many people have savored Three Kings cake, a traditional delight that can be enjoyed only on these few days of the year.
In the prevailing cold and rain, Spain’s principal cities hailed the processions and greeted the Three Wise Men – Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar – who arrived by land, sea or air, though in some cases the weather forced them to suspend their visits.
To avoid possible attacks on the crowds, security measures were extreme, particularly in Madrid and Barcelona, where a restriction on traffic was in force and some streets were strategically blocked with planters and iron posts to bar access.
The procession in the Spanish capital, one of the largest in the country, was made up of some 2,000 people and 30 groups – including 14 floats – and was conceived as a tribute to the great figures of science.
Illustrious scientific minds of history like Leonardo Da Vinci, Marie Curie and Albert Einstein paraded through downtown Madrid, together with the Three Kings, on a night dedicated this year to inventions like the watch, the printing press, the locomotive and television, among other surprising creations of man’s imagination.
Taking part in the parade were nine theater companies, giant marionettes, illuminated balloons and a team of more than 100 actors, musicians, dancers and acrobats.
A large star of Bethlehem, which guided the Magi on their way from the Orient, headed the “Constellation of Desires” procession, made up of 6,000 paper stars with the written petitions of thousands of Madrid residents.
In other cities of Spain, like Seville, the leading characters were magic elves, who for two years have worked so that no child, however poor, is left without toys on the day that Catholic tradition celebrates for the arrival in Bethlehem of these Three Wise Men bearing gold, frankincense and myrrh to honor the newborn Baby Jesus.