surinenglish

Three Kings deliver festive cheer, from a distance

A child greets the Kings in Rincón de la Victoria.
A child greets the Kings in Rincón de la Victoria. / SUR
  • The coronavirus pandemic meant that the traditional 5 January parades in Malaga province were replaced by alternatives that avoided crowds

The coronavirus crisis has dictated changes to normally untouchable traditions throughout this Christmas period. The grand finale, the visit of the Three Wise Men from the East bearing gifts on the night of 5 January was no different.

The usual crowd-drawing parades were cancelled thoughout the province of Malaga, as in the rest of Spain, and instead there were scenes of the Kings wearing face masks greeting youngsters from a safe distance of several metres.

Marbella.

Marbella. / JOSELE

Experts say that children are the first to adapt to circumstances and all the restrictions and precautions were unable to wipe the excitement from children's faces onTuesday. Mechior, Balthazar and Gaspar would still be visiting to leave presents to find when they woke up on the morning of 6 January.

Alternatives to the parades were organised around the province. In Malaga city only press and local TV cameras were allowed to witness the arrived of the Three Wise Men at the Alzacaba where they were received by the mayor Francisco de la Torre and councilllor Teresa Porras.

Torrox.

Torrox. / sur

Young television viewers were then able to watch the Kings' arrival at the cathedral where they was greeted by Bishop Jesús Catalá as the Orfeón Universitario children's choir sang Christmas carols. Eight-year-old Alicia Martín read a letter to the Kings in representation of the rest of the children.

Mijas

Mijas / SUR

In Fuengirola and Benalmádena the Kings could be spotted touring the towns in a procession of open-top vehicles.

Mijas and Torremolinos opted for a "static" cavalcade, where carefully distanced children were allowed to visit the Wise Men.

In Marbella and San Pedro the town hall designed a circuit that members of the public were able to access on foot, having previously registered and been given an appointment.

In Estepona Melchior, Balthazar and Gaspar were received at the fairground where they waited for children to deliver their letters, again by prearranged appointment.

Estepona.

Estepona. / JOSELE

Vélez-Málaga.

Vélez-Málaga. / SUR

Benahavís replaced the usual parade with a tour by three cars from which the Kings greeted at a safe distance.

On the eastern Costa del Sol, town halls in Vélez-Málaga, Rincón de la Victoria and Torrox substituted their parades with open-air shows with limited access. And in smaller inland villages the royal party distributed gifts and sweets from door to door.

The Kings' car tour in Vélez caused a kilometre of tailbacks on the town's access roads.

In Ronda, the Wise Men received youngsters at a local sports centre, which was accessible until 10pm.