Thousands of people thronged Madrid on Tuesday to witness the annual Three Kings Parade in rememberance of the visit paid by the three wise men to the newborn baby Jesus in Bethlehem.
Antique firetrucks, a giant mechanical elephant and floats featuring storybook characters paraded from the Plaza de San Juan toward the central Plaza de Cibeles, in what is the biggest of Spain's annual processions.
AdvertisementMusical bands, dancers dressed in colourful costumes and horses accompanied the floats.
Children in Spain traditionally receive presents on Epiphany -- the day after the procession -- and participants in the parade threw gifts of sweets to the crowd.
Many children held up plastic bags opened wide or upturned umbrellas to increase their chances of catching the candy.
A fireworks show lit up the sky after the three kings -- Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar -- arrived at the end of the parade route at the Plaza Cibeles, where they read out their annual message to the children of the city.
In the Mediterranean port of Barcelona, the Magi arrived by boat where they were welcomed by the city's mayor Jordi Hereu who gave them a symbolic key that opened all the doors to the city.
The kings then led a parade of floats involving performers from over 20 dance and theatre schools through the streets of Spain's second-largest city.
The Magi also arrived by boat in the northern port of Gijon while in the Basque seaside resort of San Sebastian the kings arrived on the beach of the city's famous shell-shaped bay on camels.
In the southwestern city of Seville the kings showered several tonnes of sweets onto streets filled with revelers.
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