- Title: SPAIN: Three Kings arrive in Madrid laden with sweets and gifts
- Date: 6th January 2010
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) KING BALTHAZAR SAYING "We bring a message of peace, hope and coexistence. We ask children to go to bed soon because we have a lot of presents to hand out and, mainly we have to start early. (We ask them) not to forget to leave some food, which is important. It's been a lot of hours since we left the East." THREE KINGS POSING (SOUNDBITE) KING CASPAR SAYING: "We hope to fulfil every wish we've been asked for." KING MELCHIOR AND KING BALTHAZAR POSING WITH A GIRL (SOUNDBITE) KING MELCHIOR SAYING "A lot of work is needed. there are a lot of people who try, who want, who look for a job, but it is a difficult moment. I wish it was the present all of us could get in Madrid and Spain on next year."
- Embargoed: 21st January 2010 12:00
- Location: Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment / Showbiz,Light / Amusing / Unusual / Quirky
- Reuters ID: LVA4U8GNDX2K8SZU03OVBHZ7L1XO
- Story Text: Happy young faces welcomed the Three Kings Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar when they arrived in their floats and invaded the central streets of Madrid on Tuesday (January 5) evening.
Smiling and excited kids waited to see the noble bearded men dressed in king's clothes with red layers and shinny crowns passing by and throwing candy down from their floats.
"We bring a message of peace, hope and coexistence. We ask children to go to bed soon because we have a lot of presents to hand out and, mainly we have to start early. (We ask them) not to forget to leave some food, which is important. It's been a lot of hours since we left the East," King Balthazar said to reporters.
"We hope to fulfil every wish we've been asked for," King Caspar added.
Even though this year's parade is inspired in United Nations International Culture Rapprochement year, Melchior had a few thoughts for those who have lost their jobs with the economic downturn.
"A lot of work is needed. there are a lot of people who try, who want, who look for a job, but it is a difficult moment. I wish it was the present all of us could get in Madrid and Spain on next year," King Melchior said.
Tradition says that three educated, wealthy, and influential noble men saw a mysterious bright star appear in the sky and followed it in order to go in search of the long awaited Messiah, as they had been told to in dreams.
They travelled all the way from Persia to Bethlehem to pay homage to Jesus and marked his birth with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, and every year they travel to Spain --and other parts in the world where the tradition is held -- in order to hand out presents for all the children in the country.
"They are three people coming from the East who bring presents. They pay homage to the child and are led by a star," little boy Marcos Toledo said while waiting to see the three Kings from the East.
"If children aren't good they don't bring presents, they bring coal, a bad thing. And if they are good they bring presents, toys, very good," said his sister Ana with a big smile, before the coal train passed in front of her.
The parade took off with a bunch of horses and a girl in a white suit floating in the air suspended by a lot of white and big helio balloons making acrobatic figures.
Following came tall, red giraffes illuminated by flashing red and white lights, and a float stream in which a lot of different cultures were represented, among them an illuminated ship full of happy children dressed in lively colours throwing candy to the ones on the ground, a Chinese royal escort and a huge and colourful balloon referring to Jules Verne's "Around the world in 80 days".
Indians and cowboys or a fantastic blue Gaudi lizard were surrounded by excited and shouting children who tried everything to pick up as many sweets and gifts as possible, most of them laying umbrellas on the ground to catch them.
Even some donkeys and geese passed by the famous Madrilenian Paseo de la Castellana before the audience finally got to see the expected Three Kings, white-haired Melchior, red-haired Caspar and black Balthazar, arriving in three shiny blue and silver floats waving and throwing sweets and confetti along the street.
The boulevard was covered in a colourful cloak of petals, fireworks leftovers, flyers, confetti and candy, which children immediately hurried to pick up after the parade was over, and were only waiting for the big day tomorrow (January 6), where the children who have been good get their presents and the ones who have been naughty get coal.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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