los reyes magos

The Spanish have a holiday to celebrate the three wise men that came bearing gifts to baby Jesus. It is called Los Reyes Magos, the magic kings. 
The Kings names are Gaspar, Melchior and Balthazar. Each of them look distinguishably different and represent different things for the special time of the year. ( though Im not crystal on all of the symbolic meanings- my Spanish is still coming and everything I learned was from the Grandfather who doesnt speak a lick of English) 

Gaspar has brown hair and wears a green robe and a funky arabic looking hat. He was the one who brought Frankincense to the Christ child and was the King of Sheba.
Melchior is the King of Arabia and has long white hair, a gnarly beard and a gold robe. He brought fine golds to baby Jesus.
Balthazar has black skin, and he is the King of Egypt. He brought Myrrh to the Christ child which historically has a strong scent and is placed on the deceased during burial ceremonies. He brought this to Christ to symbolize the death that Jesus would suffer for the world.

Let me just say, that I have totally fallin in love with this tradition and will take it with me to my family forever. 

Madrid put on a HUGE parade for the three kings. It was one of the coolest parades I have ever seen- professional acrobats, huge balloons, bright lights, floats and candy that was thrown into the sea of Spanish screaming children. 
 It got so packed that me and a friend scaled a statue and watched the parade while perched higher than the crowds.
It doesn't look that high, but trust me.. it was.

This photo was  taken 3 hours before the parade started, 
showing just a fourth of the people that were actually there by dark-

Then I got home from the parade to celebrate the typical traditions with my host family. 
We picked grass for the camels that the kings ride on.

And left them some water as well.

Then we left three glasses of wine for the kings, because they get very thirsty.

The next morning there were loads of presents under the tree! The three kings brought everyone so many new toys, clothes and jewelry. 

 Even found me all the way over here in Spain. They are really so smart!

The rest of the day was filled with Roscon a typical Spanish cake, Jamon Iberico, coke zero and other things that I normally stuff my face with in this glorious country.