The seasonal festivities reach their crescendo on January 5th with the arrival of Three Kings, Los Reyes Magos Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar, who now enjoy mythical, celebrity status, particularly among the children of Spain, as it is they who will bring gifts to those who have been good throughout the year. Those who have been naughty can expect little more than a lump of coal… or at least so they are told.
Dia Reyes de Magos, the day of the Kings, sees these three biblical wise men arrive to most towns and cities via a bewildering array of transports including everything from boats to parachutes to helicopters. They parade through the streets to the delight of the young and old and at the end of their journey, in most places, they are ceremoniously given the magic keys to the city or town by the local mayor or other VIPs. Many towns have opted not to have camels anymore in their parades due to problems in recent years with their welfare and transport. The city of Las Palmas have been trying to find alternatives due to an accident involving the man who looks after the usual camels who do the job who is now unable to accompany these gentle but wary giants.
On Gran Canaria the capital Las Palmas does have a full day of activities planned, as usual, down near the port and a massive parade, as do most of the other larger towns. Perhaps the most special of all is in the picturesque town of Agüimes, on the east side of Gran Canaria, where the entire community becomes a living theatre leading the audience through the streets to various live action scenes telling the story of the nativity and building toward the long awaited arrival of the Kings, well worth a visit! (but get there early!)
Friday, 6 of January ‘Epifanía del Señor’ is a national holiday in Spain therefore a bank holiday.
Epiphany is one of the oldest Christian feasts. It has been celebrated since the end of the second century, before the more modern Christmas holidays were ever established. Like other Christian seasons, the church appropriated Epiphany from an old pagan festival. As early as 1996 BCE, the Egyptians celebrated the winter solstice (which then occurred on 6 January) with a tribute to Aeon, the Virgin. The holiday was established prior to the Gregorian calendar’s introduction.
At around 12:00 the Kings of The Orient will arrive at the Naval Base and be received by the local authorities. There are a wide array of activities for children: clowns, magic and Royal page visits.
The grand parade begins at 17:00 from Plaza de Manuel Becerra near the Castillo de la Luz and destination is Parque San Telmo. Seventeen floats and 600 extras will parade the 5.3 kilometer coastal route that lasts around three hours.
At 22:00 a concert in Parque San Telmo by Non Trubada
Ice skating rink in Las Arenas shopping center until 8 January
The price is €6 for 45 minutes and general opening hours are : Monday to Thursday: 16:00-21:00, Friday: 16:00-22:00, Saturday and Sunday: 10:00-22:00 On Reyes de Magos : 15:00-22:00
This year, a two day celebration with a playground for children on 4-5 January in the covered Pabellón Cubierto de San Fernando. Opens on Wednesday (4th) from 10:00-20:00 and on the 5th, prior to the parade, from 10:00-15:00. The playground, during the opening hours offers a free day-care service.
The Kings parade on Thursday (5th) starts at 18:00. Leaving from Avenida de Tunte and travelling through Avenida de Gáldar, calle Francisco Hernández González and Avenida de Tejeda, and ending up with a big children’s show at Plaza-auditorio del Parque de San Fernando, where the Mayor will hand the magic keys of the town to the Three Kings of the Orient.
Welcome parades for their Majestades los Reyes Magos de Oriente are also
5 January ‘Feria de Reyes’ , ‘The Kings Fair‘ in Arguineguín at Plaza Pérez Galdós starts at 17:00 and features gastronomy, artisans and other stands.
At around 18:00 The Three Kings from the Orient arrive at the Arguineguín port. Followed by a street procession via Avenida de Las Marañuelas to Plaza de Pérez Galdós, where they will receive the magic key to the town and collect children’s request letters.
Tuesday 3 January in Playa de Mogán, during the afternoon the little ones can have fun with a street procession, live music and animation with Disney characters. Starting at 17:30. Followed by a Disney show and the chance to give childrens letters to the royal page in Plaza Dr. Pedro Betancour León
On the 5th of January at 20:00 the departure of the Royal Entourage from the gardens of the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Rosario starts their traditional transit through the various stage settings, spread throughout several points in the town, arriving at the Plaza del Rosario about 22:00. The Wise Men of the East Act ends the scenes after worshiping the child in the manger. With more than 300 participating actors from the town this is quite a spectacle, arrive early!
On Wednesday 4 January, at 16:00, the three kings arrive by helicopter at the parking lot of La Karpa (in front of the Municipal Offices).
17:00-21:00 at Plaza de Los Algodoneros (on Avda de Canarias ) the collection of letters and a big children’s party from 17:00-21:00, where the Mayor will give the master key for all the houses to the Three Kings.
Roscón de Reyes market from 17:00-21:00 at Plaza de la Era
Artisan Fair starting at 11:00 and open until the stores closes on pedestrian area of the Avenida de Canarias
Roscón de Reyes market 12.00-23.00 at Plaza de la Era
Special Kings Concert with Los 600 starting at 22:00, Plaza de Los Algodoneros
Thursday 5 January, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar confirm their presence in Telde for one more year. The festivities start at 10:00, with children’s activities and a clown show in Parque Franchy Roca.
At 12:00 their majesties The Three Kings of the East will collect the children’s letters, the last chance to hand them in before the most magical night of the year.
3-5 January Christmas Fair in open commercial area of San Gregorio, Telde
Teror Cabalgata de los Reyes at 19:00 from Puente del Pino to Alameda Pío XII
Arucas : Mercadillo de Reyes ( Kings market ) 23:00-01:00 Centro Histórico
Agaete Espectáculo Musical Infantil y Cabalgata de Reyes Plaza de la Constituciónat 19:00