The Three Kings paraded throughout Spain today in multiple cavalcades carried out by fantasy and illusion, especially of the youngest, and this year with the novelty of a greater inclusion of the disabled.
Inclusivity was one of the innovations of some of the cavalcades this year. In Seville, King Baltasar was blind, while seventy of the 3,000 royal pages had some kind of disability.
While, In the biggest cavalcade, the one in Madrid, there was a whole display of aids, such as audio description for people with visual disabilities or subtitles, backpacks, interpreters in sign language and a sound amplification system for the deaf.
Thousands of parades took place throughout the country, in which millions of children worked hard to see up close the magical characters that during the night will leave gifts that can be enjoyed the next morning.
The Madrid event had more than 2,000 participants for a distance of 2.9 kilometers along the Paseo de la Castellana, attended by tens of thousands of spectators, and with the transforming power of the arts as a central theme among a waste of light, color, music and dance.
So, there was floats dedicated to Las Meninas, one of the most universal paintings of Spanish painting, to Alice in Wonderland or Jules Verne, one of the fantasy and science fiction writers best known to young people.
The three magicians made the journey aboard a procession of floats that also carried messages with 30,000 wishes written by children and adults, in a parade that concluded with the reading of a message by Melchor, on behalf of the royal trio, and a fireworks show.
TO Barcelona, the Kings of the Orient arrived, one more year, by boat, with the novelty that this time they were received by another boat of the NGO Open Arms, which rescues immigrants adrift in the Mediterranean.
Ada Colau, who has given the Magi the magic keys that open all the houses in the city, wanted to highlight the presence in the port of an Open Arms boat, "very special friends".
"The people who save refugees in the middle of the sea, who flee from war and misery, represent, like the kings, the best values of humanity and peace, and also the good wishes of Christmas that today They meet us here, "the mayor assured.
Open Arms, he continued, "also represents Barcelona as a city of peace and welcome, which today is very excited to welcome Their Majesties".
After the speeches, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar, have greeted some of the children concentrated in the dock and have moved to the avenue Marquès de l'Argentera, where their floats awaited them to participate in a parade structured in twelve blocks and in which involved 1,200 people, including dancers, actors, characters who walked with huge stilts and volunteers.
Thousands of children and their parents have gathered along the route to deliver their letters personally to the real postmen and to see Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar up close.
The Department of Festivities and Traditions of the Institute of Culture of Barcelona (ICUB) is responsible for the ride that has led a Winter Lord turned into a four-meter big doll, accompanied by the Big Book of Small Things – which opened and closed while throwing snowflakes.
To the traditional page Gregori of Barcelona, have been added the page Omar and the page Estel, turned into masters of ceremonies from just before four o'clock in the afternoon to entertain the expectation of the little ones who wanted to see Their Majesties the Kings of the East.
The ride, one kilometer long, has toured the center of the city and will end late tonight on the avenue Maria Cristina, next to the Plaza de Espanya in Barcelona.
A total of 1,942 people had requested to participate in the most multitudinous citizen show that is organized in the Catalan capital but only 200 have been chosen by lot to participate in the procession.
Another of the delights of the youngest ones, the desired candies, have arrived in floats converted into large factories from which seven tons of sweets have been launched.
However, the candies were very close to the dreaded coal, guarded by the Carbonero Giant.
As usual, the Barcelona cavalcade has had real postmen, pages, the lollipop truck – for the little ones who want to deliver them to the Kings – and, among other novelties, a Sleeping carriage, to invite the little ones to get into bed.
It should be noted that King Gaspar has premiered a float, designed and built by Alex Posada and Raül M. Beteta, who have made the protagonist of his creation and where the LED lights were synchronized with the music.
The children of the Valencian Community have managed to receive the gifts requested to the Magi in a magical night full of illusion in which the stratagems of the evil Mr. Carbón have not served at all, that in the cavalcade of the city of Valencia has tried that the toys did not reach their recipients alleging for this bad behavior of the smallest.
Their Majesties of the East have practically arrived at the unison of all the populations of the Comunitat Valenciana through all means of transport, since they have used the plane to go to Requena, the train to get to Gandia Y Buñol, the ship to move to Valencia Y Alicante, and horses and dromedaries to reach other towns in the interior regions as Onteniente, Alcoy and Morella.
Once in the cities, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar have traveled the main streets in colorful carriages, preceded by large entourages in which there have been dance groups, acrobats, fantastical characters of stories and royal pages, accompanied by music and Fireworks castles have launched thousands of tons of candies, many of them gluten-free so that all children can taste them.
In the province of Valencia there are many municipalities in which members of fallas commissions, along with other local associations, have a leading role in these rides, as is the case of Gandia, Buñol, Albal and Sagunto, among other populations.
In Alcoy, where the oldest cavalcade in Spain is celebrated (in this 2019 the 134th edition is celebrated), Melchior, Gaspar and Baltasar have managed to distribute thousands of toys thanks to the invaluable collaboration of 440 pages, who have not hesitated to climb on ladders of intense red hand to leave the gifts on the balconies of the houses.
Shortly before 9:00 pm, the kings of the East will make a stop in the Plaza de España to go to the Bethlehem portal and adore the baby Jesus, while the "hallelujah" of Haendel's Oratorio "El Mesías" is played.
In Valencia, the Cabalgata de Reyes Magos has been reinforced this year with a total of twelve dance and animation companies, a new character, Mr. Coal; a float bed, and three new songs composed specifically for the occasion.
The main theme of the ride, which involved 36 floats and 500 people (between artists and extras), has been reading, and among the dozens of floats participants has highlighted the carriage-bed designed by Marina Puche (Silver Handyman ), from which the children were encouraged to read before bedtime so that their Majesties can leave the gifts without fright.
Upon arrival at the Town Hall Square, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar have been hoisted with a basket-crane from the firemen to the town hall, from where they have addressed the thousands of children assembled to assure them that all of them, having had a Good behavior throughout the year, will receive gifts on this magical night.
During the tour they have performed songs already common in this celebration, such as that of Messina Caterina and "Ja estan ací", to which this year three new compositions have been added: one dedicated to Paje Miquel, the other to Señor Carbon (the negative character of the retinue) and a third by the time the children have to go to sleep with the title "Bella nit de Reis".
In general the parades were developed without incidents although In Seville the procession of the procession was delayed almost an hour because some floats hit the Christmas lights and it was necessary for the firemen to intervene with a pole.
In spite of everything, nothing could stop the avalanche of illusion and joy generated by these parades, especially among children, always eager to see the Magi from the East who bring gifts every year and deliver tons of candy throughout the country.
Another key issue in these large crowds of people was security.
Apart from a strong device of agents of different bodies throughout the country, the Spanish National Police deployed in Madrid helicopters and special groups monitoring the transport and the underground, as well as cavalry units and dogs.
One more year, the three magicians arrived in Spanish cities in the most varied way.
If Barcelona or Las Palmas de Gran Canaria arrived by boat, in Logroño they landed in a helicopter at the football stadium, and by plane to the historic city of Ávila, while Vitoria arrived by train.
More original was still the arrival flying in hang-gliding in the small town of Alarilla (province of Guadalajara, center), and other places, such as the winter resort of Sierra Nevada (Granada) their majesties from the Orient came skiing.