Madrid: It’s the most beautiful time of the year for children when Spaniards greet the Three Kings laden with gifts.But this year’s glittering parades have been torpedoed by the pandemic

In Spain, it is not Santa Claus or Christmas Eve that seduces all children, but Melchior, Caspar and Balthasar, who on the night of the 5th January arrive with gifts

Every year, millions of people across Spain flock to the streets to watch the fairy tale parades where royal visitors are greeted with music, dancing and lots of candy tossed into the excited crowd

With all outdoor gatherings banned this year to slow the spread of the virus, local authorities across the country have been looking for creative ways to keep the magic of Reyes alive

“It’s a truly traditional festival – total madness, a real family event with dancing, lights, floats and everyone packing the streets to watch,” said Esteve Carames, in charge of the Reyes celebrations in Barcelona. where usually 700000 people take part in the three-kilometer route

That year, however, the Three Kings arrived by boat and the Royal Landing was televised live from the port of Barcelona Afterwards, footage of a pre-recorded parade was shown

Barcelona has also set up an open-air amusement park based on the Three Kings with a capacity for 400 visitors, it has lights, music and scenery, but no actors and nothing to touch The 50000 free tickets for the park, which runs from 28 December to 5 Opened January, were picked up in just four hours

Somewhat surprisingly, this year’s celebrations were more expensive than in previous years and were around 12 million euros5 million) compared to 800000 euros in a normal year given the extended duration of the events

“It’s the special night of the year and we wanted the magic to be felt throughout the city,” said Andrea Levy, one of the capital’s best cultural advisors


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