Santa Claus visits Benidorms 3 Kings Parade on the Lavente Beach Christmas 2018

Santa Claus was spotted during the Benidorm 3 Kings Christmas 2018 Parade. Santa Claus has been spotted on the Benidorm 3 Kings Parade walking along the Lavante Beach, in the Costa Blanca area of Spain today.

On 5 January 2018 Benidorm celebrates the end of Christmas with a great party where everybody gives and receives presents. It is to celebrate the arrival of the Three Wise Men - Melchior Caspar and Balthazar - to the city where Jesus was born. In the same way that the Three Wise Men gave gifts to baby Christ, here they share out presents amongst children around Spain - in fact; they are more popular than Santa Claus

There are glorious processions of the Three Wise Men in each town, the children go along with there parents to see the kings and receive sweets from them. Before going to sleep, children put some milk and biscuits next to the Christmas tree for the Three Kings and some water for their camels. They also leave out their best pair of shoes to be filled with presents.

On the next day, 6 January children wake up and see how many presents they have received. If they have been good, they will find a lot of good presents but if they have been naughty they will find coal. These days, the coal is actually made of sugar, but some years ago it was real coal.

During this day, all families enjoy a piece of roscon (a sugar-frosted fruit-filled bread) for breakfast tradition says that the person who finds a novelty such as a coin, in his or her portion will have good luck for the next year.

Both young and old enjoy opening their presents on this day, but sadly it also marks the end of Christmas.

There is quite a debate raging across this country regarding whether Santa Claus is displacing the traditional Three Kings at Christmastime in Spain. The truth is that Santa Claus is becoming more and more common, but even families that sign up with “Papa Noel” usually keep their accounts open with the Kings.

And as for the Kings themselves, they continue to arrive on schedule every year to villages, towns and cities throughout Andalucia (and the rest of Spain) to make the annual parade (cabalgata), which usually starts at dusk on the 5th January through the centre of urban areas. Melchor, Gazpar and Baltasar (the African king) are magically able to appear simultaneously throughout this entire land as evening falls on the Iberian Peninsula, and they don’t come empty handed.

As their royal magesties parade about town with their entourage of locals smiling and waving from trucks, trailers and even floats (depends on local resources) they dutifully toss out handfuls of sweets to the children waiting in the streets at they pass. If you take little ones to the parade, be sure to bring along bags to handle the accumulation of little treasures they will certainly want to take home (even though usually these sweets are not very good quality).

That same night of January 5th children are supposed to leave their shoes out the night before to receive the gifts. However, nowadays some families are actually turning to the Christmas tree as the place to pile gifts as the Kings’ spending power grows and shoes can no longer support the weight or volume of the their delivery. Some families set up their nativity scene in such a way as to be able to move the images of the wise men closer and closer to Bethlehem over the Christmas season. The idea is to have them arrive at the stable right on the 6th.

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