Three Kings parade 5th January 2023

KCavalcada de Reis

Barcelona Cavalcada de Reis 2023

Three Kings' Parade Barcelona 2023 times, map parade route

¡Felices Reyes! Three Kings Barcelona parade 5th January 2023. Kings parade route and map.

The Three Kings parade on 5th January is Barcelona's Christmas parade on the eve of the 12th day of Christmas.

The 'Three Kings’ Parade' is also known as the 'Twelfth Night procession.

In the Spanish language it is called 'la Cabalgata de Reyes Magos'

In the Catalan language it is called 'la Cavalcada de Reis Mags d'Orient'.

The 12th day is also called Epiphany, which is on January 6th - twelve days after Christmas.

Ephiphany is the end of the Christmas festive season in Spain and Barcelona where Christmas is celebrated for the 12 days from Christmas Eve on December 24th, until the Epiphany on 6th January.

Three Kings arrival ceremony

Before the parade starts, at 4 pm on 5 January 2023, their Majesties Melchior, Gaspar and Balthazar arrive as usual at the Portal de la Pau on the Santa Eulàlia, which is the maritime museum's schooner (called a 'pailebot.') 

Barcelona's mayor bids the Kings welcome with bread and salt as a symbol of hospitality and welcome. The Kings are then presented with the key that opens all the Barcelona's city doors, so they can deliver their Christmas gifts during the night of 5th January.

This arrival event is not open to the general public but is broadcast on the city's Youtube channel

Kings Parade information & route 2023

The Three Kings of the Orient parade is on 5th January 2023 has an slightly different route from previous years

Parade start at: Av. Marques de l'Argentera at park Parc de la Ciutadella. The 2023 Barcelona 3 Kings Christmas parade starts at 6.00 pm from Av. Marquès de l’Argentera (with Pg. Circumval·lació) and finishes at the Font Màgica de Montjuïc. The route goes along Passeig de Colom all the way to Av. Paral·lel and then up Ronda de Sant Pau and C. Urgell, before turning onto C. Sepúlveda, and ends at the Magic Fountain just after 9 pm

Parade start time: 18:00 - 21:30 (6 pm to 9.30 pm)

Estimated route times: 

18:15 at Pg Colom
19.10 at Av. Paral·lel
19.30 at Rda. Sant Pau
19.45 at Mercat de Sant Antoni
20.30 at C Sepúlveda

2023 Barcelona Kings procession route map

Cavalcada de Reis Barcelona Kings map

FULLSCREEN map Three Kings parade

Three Kings Barcelona

The Barcelona 2023 Kings parade will consist of spectacular floats with special dances and all throwing sweets to the public under the guidance of page boy Omar.

Hola, Barcelona: the Brincadeira Company will be welcoming the Three Kings and leading the way for the whole of the procession, accompanied by Gata perduda, from the Gran Teatre del Liceu.

Royal Couriers: the dancers from the Luthiers school will be in charge of collecting the letters, accompanied by Gregori, the city’s page boy.

Estel’s Float: Page girl Estel and her entourage of magical stars will be accompanied by the Brodas Bros and the Luminolifes - big starry beings.

King Melchior: King Melchior's new float and his magical entourage will have luminous wings and will be accompanied by dancers

The Toys: who’ll be riding on a new float full of energy, movement, colour and light

King Gaspar: accompanied by his magical entourage, the blonde king will be showing off his new float

Instructions for dreaming: a new float in the shape of a magic bed with sheets made from the sails of a ship as a reminder of how important it is to go to bed on time

King Balthazar: the royal welcome will be brought to a close by King Balthazar and his entourage’s brand new float

The coal: the float representing a mine with coal, fire, smoke and miners will be accompanied by the Kampai & La Banda Street Groove Company, and will be absolutely spectacular.

Places reserved for reduced mobility spectators:  Some spaces are reserved for people with reduced mobility at Plaça d’Antonio López and at Plaça d’Espanya junction with Avinguda del Paral·lel. Many people bring a step ladder to better see the parade.

About Three Kings - Reyes traditions

The Three Kings of the Orient, are called Balthasar, Gaspar and Melchior in Spanish and in Catalan they are called Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar.

The Twelfth Night, also called Ephiphany, celebrates the visit to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem by the Three Kings, (also called the Magi, or the Three Wise Men) and is a Christian celebration that dates back to the 4th century.

The word 'Epiphany' comes from Greek and means 'manifestation'. The Epiphany, or Twelfth night, signifies the manifestation of Christ to humans who were represented in the form of the Three Kings. According to the Gospel of Matthew, the three kings followed a star across the desert which led them to the baby Jesus.

According to the gospel of Matthew they gave Jesus symbolic gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The gold represented his royal standing; frankincense his divine birth; and myrrh his mortality. On their return journey they handed out gifts to children. 

In Spain children write to the Three Kings, rather than Santa Claus. The Kings bring the children their presents on 6th January. The Kings' Day Parade is the biggest parade in Barcelona and takes place on 5th January every year on the evening before Twelfth Night on the 6th January.

Children can deliver their gift wish lists to the Kings by post or by handing them to one of the eighty Kings' pages and messengers in the parade, the most famous of which are called Page Estel and Page Gregori.

The Kings pages are also all over the city in the Christmas period. In Barcelona can find them on Plaza Catalunya, at the Barcelona City Hall, at the Three Kings' postbox in the courtyard of the Palau de la Virreina, on ‘Santa Eulàlia’ schooner at Moll de la Fusta dock in Port Vell marina and at many shopping malls.

Children are also welcome to visit the Kings of Orients’ toy factory at the Fàbrica de Creació Fabra i Coats (from end December - 4th January 2022) in the Sant Andreu district of Barcelona
The Fabra i Coats factory opens its doors for Christmas, so that visitors can see the toy warehouse where toys are made and stored before being delivered by the Three Kings on the night of 5th January.. 

After the Kings' parade on the 5th January the next day 6th January is a public holiday in Spain. The 6th is the biggest Christmas gift giving day in Barcelona and Spain and the day that the children open their presents.

On 6th January the family enjoy a sweetbread Kings cake called 'Tortell de Reis' in Catalan language and in Spanish language called 'Roscón de Reyes' which means the Kings' ring. Inside the roscon cake bakers hide a tiny toy or trinket and a fava bean.

The person who finds the toy is King or Queen of the feast and the person who gets the fava bean has to buy the Tortell de Reis cake the following year.

About Barcelona Kings Parade

There are usually around 18 local Christmas Kings parades in different districts of Barcelona on 5th January. An estimated 500,000 people go to see the biggest parade in Barcelona - the 'Cabalgata de Reyes Magos'.

This is a three hour parade with a convoy of around 12 parade floats - called carrozas - which stretches almost one kilometre in total along a 5km route through the center of Barcelona also passing by Plaza Catalunya. 

The Barcelona Kings parade is a spectacular show designed and performed by professional artists from the world of theatre, music, dance and circus with volunteers, which are mostly students from 29 different arts schools in Barcelona but also just volunteers from local families.

Leading the parade are 'Els llancers de la Guàrdia Reial' The Royal Guard Lancers on horseback. In total there are about 1300 costumed participants, 12 big floats and around 26 dance retinues called comparsas. Each float has a theme and the themes change every year.

Around 7 tons of gluten free sweets are thrown from the floats during the parade. During the parade children can give the Kings pages their Christmas letters and also hand in their pacifiers or dummies - called xumets in Catalan - to the Kings' Xumeters - the dummie collectors.
Don't forgot to buy a Kings Cake - a sweet dessert bread called 'Tortells de Reis' in Catalan - 'Roscón de Reyes' in Spanish, which is eaten the night before or on King's Day. You can get them at all bakeries and supermarkets in Barcelona.

¡Felices Reyes! Bones Festes!

Pictures Three Kings procession
Barcelona Three Kings website
Guide Barcelona Christmas
Barcelona NY Eve celebrations

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 January 2023 12:49

Saturday, 30 September 2023