Home » Madrid: Ex-pat Experiences & Thoughts » Madrid’s 3 Kings Parade – Cabalgata De Reyes

Madrid’s 3 Kings Parade – Cabalgata De Reyes


Last night I got to witness the celebrations, and parade of the 3 Kings or Cabalgata De Reyes here in Madrid.

By the teeming crowds and absolute bedlam, I think all of Madrid and then some showed up too! I think last years parades pulled in over 500,000; but standing there amongst so many people it certainly felt as though much more were present this year!

It was lovely being able to inhabit the roads leading down to Plaza de Cibeles without the usual multitudes of cars. The people of the city reclaimed the streets for themselves and the celebrations. The sun setting over the Metropolis building was lovely, with the soft glow of the Christmas lights hanging from the trees.

I couldn’t believe the crowds as we got ever nearer though; a sea of people were waiting patiently and without trouble for the night to begin and the arrival of the 3 kings.

The night began with choirs singing out carols in Spanish and English, then came the colourful and lively parade with beautifully decorated floats. It is customary for sweets to be thrown into the crowd, and this year was no exception. Apparently, during the parade 7000 kilos of sweets are thrown into the eagerly awaiting crowds. Many onlookers came prepared with bags and umbrellas to catch the tasty delights.

Here are some photos of evening, along with a couple of the firework display that ended the evening with a bang.

The view to Plaza de Cibeles as dusk falls.

The view to Plaza de Cibeles as dusk falls.

One of the choirs singing beautifully to the masses.

One of the choirs singing beautifully to the masses.

Just a small glimpse of the massive crowd surrounding the area - which covered many, many of the streets.

Just a small glimpse of the massive crowd surrounding the area – which covered many, many of the streets.

The first of many parade floats.

The first of many parade floats.

Awwww, a Ballerina.

Awwww, a Ballerina.

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Alice In Wonderland - I saw but couldn't photograph the wonderful Mad Hatter walking alongside the float. He was Johnny Depp's replica from the movie!

Alice In Wonderland – I saw but couldn’t photograph the wonderful Mad Hatter walking alongside the float. He was Johnny Depp’s replica from the movie!

Angel and the North Star - beautiful acrobatics from a girl attached to, and suspended from a floating balloon of massive porportion! I felt sorry for her in the freezing weather!

Angel and the North Star – beautiful acrobatics from a girl attached to, and suspended from a floating balloon of massive proportion! I felt sorry for her in the freezing weather!

One of the 3 Kings

One of the 3 Kings

Another crowd shot after the parade ended.

Another crowd shot after the parade ended.

The beginning of the fireworks.

The beginning of the fireworks.

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4 thoughts on “Madrid’s 3 Kings Parade – Cabalgata De Reyes

  1. Last year I was living in Toronto, and I could compare between their Santa’s Parade, where the most smiley fat guy was te major and kids didn’t cheer at all but looked bored, and how we live this tradition here. Some year u must come to Alcoi, place of the first Kings Parade, where “kings servants” take ladders and give the presents into ppl’s houses entering by the windows as the parade goes down the streets… different and smaller than Madrid but still more deep and authentic than brand-sponsored parades. Nice set of pics! 😉

    • Thanks for your input on this! It is good to hear your individual experiences with the 3 Kings parade.
      I didn’t realise there was a specific town where the parade originated from. I’ll admit in Madrid it was ‘commercial’ and not so traditional – which I’d have preferred. I’ll have to consider visiting Alcoi – I have never heard of it before either.
      Thanks for enjoying the pics – it was difficult to get many as the crowds were so intense!
      Bex 🙂

    • Awwww, thank you!!! I struggled with even taking the photos as it was so manic. I was pleased with the outcome eventually. I know, I doubt the UK has either; religious parades are not really UK’s forte (I don’t think anyway)!

      Thank you for liking the photos and commenting!!!! Means a lot.

      Bex 🙂

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