The most magical night of the year
Barcelona prepares to celebrate the 2023 Three Wise Men's Parade
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The night of Jan. 5 is not just any night for the children of Barcelona. For decades, the Catalan capital has been celebrating the arrival of the Three Wise Men with joy and magic with the popular Three Kings Parade, which travels through different parts of the city.
Mounted on royal floats, the Three Wise Men — Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar — ride through the streets of the city handing out candy and greeting children eager to receive their gifts the next day.
As has been the custom since the 1960s, the Three Wise Men will arrive by sea aboard the Santa Eulàlia cruise ship and after disembarking at Port Vell, will be received by the Mayor of Barcelona (in this case, the Mayoress of Barcelona, Ada Colau), who gives them the keys to the city so that they can open, for one night only, the doors of all the houses in Barcelona.
From then on, they will set off in their new royal floats, each one double in height, followed by three others, over 20 meters long, for the "Star," the "Toys" and the "Instructions for dreaming," accompanied by an entourage of troupes, dances and performances.
The royal procession will be more than one kilometer long and will have more than 1,000 helpers who will accompany Their Majesties on this magical night.
The procession will also be joined by a percussion and theater show by Gata Perdida, the scenography of the participating opera of the Gran Teatre del Liceu.
The procession will be followed by the Royal Postmen, who for the first time will incorporate tap dancing and body percussion into the parade, and will be accompanied by Patge Gregori, the Three Wise Men's faithful helper, known for his long, mirrored moustache, along with the pageboy Estel and her entourage of magical stars. The Patge Estel (Star in Catalan) is the first woman we know in this work of support in the arrival of the Kings. These pages are the ones who inform the Kings to bring them either the gifts they have asked for or coal.
After two years marked by COVID-19, the 2023 Cavalcade will not have any limited seating or attendance restrictions. Therefore, there is no need to reserve a spot and it is free to go, as always, to any part of the route to welcome the Three Wise Men.
The Feast of the Three Kings is celebrated on January 6, the date on which, according to Christian beliefs, three wise astrologers from the East came to Bethlehem to worship the baby Jesus and made offerings of gold, frankincense and myrrh. In the Middle Ages, the Kings were defined as Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar - three kings from Europe, Asia and Africa, the three continents known at the time. Some medieval interpretations also depicted them as the three states of man: wisdom, maturity and youth.