Christmas is just the beginning of the holiday festivities in Spain. After Christmas and New Year’s comes King’s Day on January 6th, a time when families celebrate the coming of the three wise or magic kings. King’s Day, or Día de los Reyes, is one of the biggest celebrations in the country. Here, the kings even have special names: Balthazar, Melchor, and Gaspar. Most children have a favorite king and look forward to getting their presents from their favorite come January 6th.
The night before King’s Day, there are extravagant parades in the streets where folks dress up in all sorts of dazzling costumes and ride around on themed floats. The magic kings are by far the stars of the show, each with their own float and a following of decorated dancers and musicians. Children of all ages live for the annual King’s Day parade, especially because the kings throw tons of candy and prizes from their floats as they move through the street. In fact, in some towns the kings throw toys and even cured Spanish Ibérico meats.
Historically, the King’s Day parade came about as a way to take care of children in need. Many families didn’t have enough money to purchase gifts for their kids. But with a local parade put on by the city, the parents could take their children into the center of town where they would receive all sorts of treats from the magic kings. That way, no kid would be left out of the celebration.
The parade is just the beginning of this special holiday. Another important tradition is the roscón de reyes. The roscón, or king cake, is cream-filled sweet bread baked into a wreath shape and topped with candied fruits and spices like orange and anise. In Spain, there are two treats baked inside the cake. The first is a dried bean, which nobody wants to find in their piece, and the second is a tiny king figurine. The person who gets the king is dubbed king for the day, whereas the unlucky person who finds the bean has to pay for the cake. A few days before King’s Day you’ll find locals in Spain running around town to make sure they have their king cake in time. Many folks even order them in advance, as they tend to run out quickly.
King’s Day is also the day when Spaniards exchange gifts (Christmas is simply a time to eat and be together and there is no Santa Claus). Whether it’s the newest soccer jersey for the kiddos or a gold necklace for mom, the gifts from the three magic kings abound. And that includes Ibéricos.
Ready to recreate the King’s Day celebration in Spain and looking for the perfect gift for your friends and family? There’s no better gift than the gift of Ibéricos. No one can say no to a whole leg of Acorn-Fed 100% Ibérico Jamón, or a few sleek packs of sliced salchichón and chorizo. These are the kind of gifts only fit for a king—made from the highest-quality pork and from artisan recipes. In fact, we’d say it’s far better than any kind of frankincense or myrrh.
Celebrate this special Spanish holiday with the most delicious products the country has to offer: COVAP cured Ibéricos.