MADRID – The Three Wise Men paraded on Saturday throughout Spain in cavalcades of fantasy and illusion, above all for the littlest ones, with this year’s novelty being a greater inclusion of the disabled.
Inclusiveness was one of the innovations of the parades this year. In Seville, King Balthazar was blind, while 70 of the 3,000 royal pages had some type of disability.
The parade in Madrid, the largest of all, lent a helping hand to many by offering, for example, audio descriptions for those with sight loss, and subtitles, sign language and sound amplification for the deaf.
Thousands of parades took place around the country, at which millions of children did everything they could to get close to the Magi, who during the night would leave them gifts to enjoy the next morning.
The massive event in Madrid had more than 2,000 participants in a 2.9km (1.8-mile) procession along the famous Paseo de la Castellana thoroughfare, with a profusion of lights, color, music and dance that magically illustrated how the arts transform reality.
The Three Wise Men traveled the route in carriages that also carried wish-lists written by children and adults, in a parade that ended with a message by Melchior in the name of the Three Kings, and a fireworks display.
In Barcelona, Mayor Ada Colau handed over to the royal guests the magic keys to the city, capable of opening the doors to every home so they can enter and leave presents for the people living there.
The chief novelty in Barcelona was the Giant Coalman, the negative personality who paraded with coal miners to distribute coal, the frightening gift for kiddies who behaved badly last year.
Despite everything, nothing could dispel the avalanche of excitement and joy spread by these parades, particularly among little girls and boys, always eager to see the Three Wise Men of the Orient who bring presents and distribute tons of candy throughout the country.