In Ibiza, 3 Kings day is arguably far more important than either Christmas or New Years Eve on Ibiza. Every year on the evening of 5th January the “3 Magi” or 3 Kings arrive around the towns & villages on Ibiza. When they do they take their place on each of their “floats” and there’s a procession through the towns where they throw thousands of sweets to the children lining the route culminating with the kids getting presents.
This year the 3 Kings arrive in the port at 6pm
Last year we did a little filming from the time the boat arrived in Santa Eulalia and then up around the town and then down the length of the main high street in Santa Eulalia.
Just after leaving the port:
The main high street in Santa Eulalia
“True” Christmas, when the day of the nativity of Jesus Christ is commemorated and celebrated, is on January 5th or 6th for the people of Ibiza and Formentera, – especially the children.
It is the feast day of the Epiphany in the Anglican Church, and also the day when the Three Wise Men from the East came to see the new born child and bring him presents.
They are not mentioned in St. Luke’s Gospel – which is the text about the shepherds and the child in a manger that we are all familiar with- and St. Matthew, who alone mentions them, calls them just “wise men”. However, tradition has turned them into kings according to the Roman Catholic Church, and so they will be referred to in this article.
In the same way that these “Reyes”, the “kings” Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar gave incense, myrrh and gold to the new born Christ, so the Spanish children are given presents by the “Reyes”. They visit every town and village on the islands, by the most diverse modes of transport. Normally they reach Ibiza by boat, land in the harbour and then move through the town in a colourful procession, accompanied by a large retinue.
In the smaller villages on Ibiza the kings arrive on horseback, and in some cases they have even taken to using a modern conveyance like the little road-bound “railway”. Upon arrival they are placed on lovingly decorated thrones, read out the names of any really good children from a large book and proceed to give them presents. Understandably, the assembled children are all on tenterhooks to see whether the “Reyes” have something for them – many seem to have good reason to fear that they will not be amongst those chosen.
The accompanying processions in Ibiza town, San Antoni and Santa Eulalia are quite magnificent.
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