The Cavalcade of three kings in Alcoy/Alicante - Royaldelux
The Cavalcade of three kings in Alcoy

The Cavalcade of three kings in Alcoy/Alicante

The history and significance of the Three Kings arrival in Alcoy

The arrival of the Three Kings is the most anticipated event for children throughout the year. It even is a Tourist National Interest Festival. Moreover, it has also been declared an Intangible Asset of Cultural Interest, attracting thousands of visitors to Alcoy annually. The tradition of this celebration dates back to 1885, with documented evidence going back to 1866. Undoubtedly, it is one of the oldest Three Kings’ parades in Spain and possibly even in the world.

Each year, the Alcoy Town Hall holds a competition for the best poster announcing the arrival of the Kings. The winning entry is then displayed on the facade of the Town Hall building. The Cabalgata de Reyes Magos de Alcoy is comprised of three acts, with two preliminary events and the main parade.

The first act, called “Les Pastoretes” or “Las Pastorcillas”, takes place on the Sunday before the 5th day in the morning. During this event, children dressed as shepherds parade with their flocks to present gifts to the baby Jesus.

The excitement continues to build until January 4th, when the Royal Ambassador arrives to announce the coming of the Three Wise Men. Accompanied by “les Burretes” – small donkeys carrying letterboxes for children to submit their letters to the Kings – the Ambassador sets the stage for the main event.

The highlight 

The highlight of the celebration is the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos, which takes place on January 5th starting at 6 pm. The procession lasts nearly 4 hours and features the Three Wise Men riding camels and bearing gifts. They are accompanied by torchbearers who illuminate their path through the town. The air is filled with Christmas carols, and the royal pages, known as “els negres”, distribute presents to the children. These pages use wooden stepladders to reach the balconies and windows of houses, creating a truly magical night.

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