Sunday’s ‘Three Kings’ parade draws on Roman, indigenous and Christian traditions

Jan 4, 2020 | 1 comment

The parade season continues in Cuenca with Sunday night’s Three Kings, or Cabalgata de Reyes Magos, parade Sunday afternoon.

The Three Kings parade in Seville, Spain.

According to one the event’s organizers, Rocío Valencia, the parade combines ceremonial elements from the indigenous summer solstice celebration, the Roman Saturnalia and Christ child traditions. “Of course, the Christian focus comes first but the festival has roots going back to other cultures and traditions as well,” he says. “In Spain and France, there also a strong gastronomy history.

Rocío adds that the costumes of the kings and supporting characters is a central feature the parade. “Some of Cuenca’s best designers, like Gustavo Moscoso and Alexandra Donoso, with the help of design students from the Universidad del Azuay, have created clothing unique to the event.”

The parade begins at San Sebastián Plaza at 4 p.m. and proceeds down Calle Mariscal Sucre to Parque Calderón. At 6, the Magi will issue the traditional message from the holy family and give out toys, candy and the roscón de reyes Christmas cakes.

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