Worth a visit: Spain's Day of the Kings

By Lucy Oliver

Take your first steps into the new year by reflecting on the journey of the Magi.

The feast of the Epiphany, commemorating the visit of the Wise Men to the child Jesus, is an opportunity to consider our own gifts and offerings to Christ and the path we should take to employ them.

There is perhaps no better place to celebrate the feast than Spain, where Catholics mark the ‘Día de los Reyes’ – or Day of the Kings – in spectacular style. On the evening of 5 January, there are processions of the Magi on impressive floats through the streets of every town and city. Sweets are thrown to children, who can enjoy other seasonal treats, notably 'carbón de azúcar' (coal candy) and the 'Roscón de Reyes', a sponge cake covered in sugared fruit. To find a buried toy inside is, like discovering silver in a plum pudding, a symbol of good fortune for the coming year.

Visitors to Barcelona for the New Year celebrations will find the Three Kings Fair, which runs until 6 January, and a wonderful crib display at the Plaça Sant Jaume, which can be seen until the feast of Candlemas in February, when we mark the midpoint of winter and look forward in hope to spring.