January 5th – Three Kings Parade
In Spain, it’s the Kings which bring the presents to the kids each Christmas not Santa, so this parade is a real family affair with floats featuring your kids’ favourite characters, marching bands and finally the Three Kings to finish off the parade. Sweets are thrown from the floats as they pass by, so take a bag or bucket and be prepared to get your elbows out to collect the candy as it flies by. Some people even use an upturned umbrella to catch the most! Don’t be surprised to see grannies and teenagers pushing and shoving to get the sweets, it’s a free-for-all, so just get involved and don’t be offended, the scrum is part of the fun!!
Insider’s Tip – Go to your local tourist office to see the route and check the times. People start lining the route up to an hour ahead of the parade and it can be quite tiring. Our favourite thing to do is find a nice bar or café on the route with a table outside so you can sit and enjoy the show, rest your feet and only go into the crowds to catch some sweeties.
If you’re visiting Marbella in February you can join in with all the Carnival fun. This normally includes two parades, one of which is a kids’ parade, when kids and their parents can dress up and parade through the town to a big Children’s Party. The best costumes are judged and awarded with prizes, so if you like dressing up this one’s for you!
The second parade is the main event, a big parade through the town with big floats and lots of fun, games, and silliness. Expect loud music, sweets being thrown, funny acts and even people shooting you with water pistols or bashing you over the head with a blow-up mallet. It is a bit crazy but lots of fun!!
Carnival is the time for “chirigota” singing —satirical folk songs performed in the streets. Throughout the week, there are also lots of excellent kids’ activities, concerts, and parties, many of which are free to join in with, others which have a small admission fee. Ask at your local tourist office for the official programme if you’re staying during this period. Find out more