This is the most magical time of the year for Spanish kids. The tradition here is that Los Reyes Magos, known as the Three Wise Men or the Three Kings, are actually the ones who bring children their gifts on the Day of the Epiphany, which is the 6th of January. This is when Melchor, Gaspar, and Baltazar bring their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They arrive at Street Parades in every major town as they are celebrated across Gran Canaria on the 5th, the Noche de Los Reyes Magos.
This year, it looks that pretty much all the Gran Canaria municipalities have left the camels to rest in their stalls. One of the biggest additions in many municipalities is a “Silent Section” during the parade, so that noise-sensitive children can also enjoy the magic and wonder of this Day.
Most towns and cities throughout Spain, and across the island, will be hosting extravagant events and parades on Thursday, aimed mainly at the littlest in the family, to welcome strangers from far-off lands, who will arrive from the east via every imaginable mode of transport, whether on speed boat, parachute, helicopter, horseback or jet ski, they will each be presented with a magical key by the local mayor so that they can let themselves into each of the townspeople’s homes to leave them something special.
Two of the biggest and most magical parades on Gran Canaria occur in the capital and up in the beautiful eastern town of Agüimes.
Nowadays it feels like a frenzied shopping spree in the run-up to this 12th day of Christmas, with many children, now that Santa is evermore on the scene, getting two sets of gifts to celebrate the season of goodwill, and for bargain hunters the good news is that the January sales start properly as soon as this day is done.
Another tradition celebrated in Spain is the Roscón de Reyes. You might have seen this sweet circular cake with candied fruit on top in the shops in multiple varieties. The fruit is said to symbolise the precious gems from the Wise Men’s clothing.
Here are a few of our favourite Three Kings events happening on Gran Canaria…
LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA
THURSDAY 5 JANUARY 2023
The welcome party with entertainment and music begins at 11:00 on the esplanade walkway next to the Poema del Mar Aquarium with the arrival of the three wise men to the Sanapú pier scheduled for 12:00 midday disembarking from their tugboats together with their pages and other favourite characters. The three kings and their entourage will disembark and meet all the children and families who gather to welcome them, as well as the mayor, Augusto Hidalgo, who will deliver the “Magic Key to the City” scheduled at 13:00. Free entrance until capacity reached
The Three Kings Parade. Castillo de la Luz – Parque de San Telmo
At 17:00 at the Castillo de La Luz, the start of a parade with floats and various activities scheduled. Because, Three Wise Men will travel a route that takes them to Calle Muelle de Las Palmas, at the height of San Telmo Park, accompanied by their entourage, floats and children’s characters —the parade contemplates three blocks: animation, floats and the Three Wise Men.
The 2020 format will be recovered, in a parade that includes messages of commitment to the environment, which calls for responsibility regarding the use of streamer aerosols, underlines the requirement of float designs, their background music, and the respectful attitudes of participants and according to the public: children.
Throughout the tour, music will animate those present until they reach Torre Las Palmas. In that area, just after going through the Julio Luengo tunnels, and up to the Santa Catalina Hospital, the sound will disappear (as the speakers are turned off) at the same time, the attendees will observe an area marked with banners that display the message “Somos sensibles”, “We are sensitive ” and which emphasises that it is part especially suitable for girls and boys who are affected by noise.
One of the ten floats that will parade through the streets of the capital is also an adapted float so that girls and boys with reduced mobility can also enjoy this children’s party on equal terms with other children.
Before and after the vehicles, the Roman centurions, stormtroopers, and other characters from the Star Wars universe will pass by, thanks to the collaboration of the Star Wars Gran Canaria Association, as well as some of the Harry Potter characters. In total, more than 150 extras will animate this great children’s event.
The only ones who will not accompany the Three Kings along the route will be the traditional camels who will not have to go through the strains of being surrounded by crowds and will have the day off to prepare for an intense night of gift-giving.
The Night of The Kings in Triana with markets and concerts:
Concerts start at 21:00 on San Bernando, Alameda de Cólon, and Plaza de Stagno. Free entry until capacity reached
San Bernado stage
at 21:00 Los Hombres de Cinthya
at 22:30 Señor Natilla
at 00:30 Los 600
Alameda de Colón stage
at 21:00 La Family Soul Band
at 22:00 Kilombo improvisado
at 00:30 Aristides Moreno and La 101 Brass Band
Plaza Stagno stage
20:00-02:00 Christmas market **
at 21:00 Gospel choir Amigos de Cristo
at 23:30 Los Dandis del Swing
Parque San Telmo
from 10:00 28th San Telmo handicraft Fair
at 21:0o Non Trubada concert
OTHER EVENTS TO ENJOY IN LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA
• 3-4 January “Auto Reyes” at Plaza del Pilar Nuevo at 19:00
The performance of “Auto de Reyes” by the 2RC Teatro Compañía de Repertorio at 19:00 on both days in Plaza del Pilar Nuevo. With the collaboration of the Guacimara Correa School of Interpretation in the historic center, the captivating production of “Auto de Reyes”, the sacred romance drama that adapted for a family audience; the Epiphany of the visit of the wise men to worship the baby Jesus. Free entry, until full capacity
• 4 January “Poi” at José Antonio Ramos Auditorium in Parque Doramas at 12:00 and 17:00
The Majorcan circus company D’es Tro, led by Guillem Vizcaíno offers a hypnotic show “Poi” that revolves around an ancestral toy, the spinning top in José Antonio Ramos Auditorium in Doramas Park on two occasions on Wednesday at 12:00 and 17:00. It is a 50-minute performance journey of tangles and twists, the story of a rural man trapped in the gyroscopic effect of his spinning top. Free entry, until full capacity
• “DiscoBolo” Christmas Market at the courtyard of the Palacete Rodríguez Quegles
The Christmas market will remain open on weekdays until January 5, from 17:30 to 20:30.
On 4 January, a family performance at 19:00. The little ones will be able to enjoy «Mi camino» by Badabadum. Through a cumulative story structure, puts music to the adventures of the macaque that stars in “My way” with voices, piano and trumpet will gather, elements that give shape to a pedagogical proposal that connects literature and stage experience. Free entry, until full capacity
• Belen de Arena, The Sand Nativity Scene on Las Canteras Beach until 9th of January
Gran Canaria’s biggest nativity sculpture, the sand art Belén de Arena is one of the main seasonal attractions in the capital, and for the island.
The opening hours are 10:00-22:00 every day, except on the 5th of January, the closing time is 20:00.
• Shopping Centre Las Arenas.
So much more than a shopping centre, it also has a multitude of activities to enjoy throughout the holiday season until the 8th of January.
Attractions like a Christmas train and carousel for the little ones. Schedule: Monday to Thursday 16:00-21:00, Friday 16:00-22:00 on Saturday and Sunday 10:00-22:00.
Ice skate Rink Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 16:00-21:00, Friday 16:00-22:00 on Saturday 10:00-22:00, Sunday 10:00-21:00.
Artisan Sweet Stands Opening hours: Monday to Sunday 10:00-22:00
Welcome festivities on the SSMM Los Reyes Magos de Oriente, The Three Wise Men of the East, in Arinaga on Avenida de Los Pescadores in Arinaga between 10:30-13:00
Starting from 10:30 animation, parade, giant balloons, stilt walkers, acrobats, jugglers, and batucada
at 11:00 Family show ‘The Elves family’
at 12:00 Arrival by sea of SSMM the Three Kings from the East
at 12:30 Royal Route of SSMM the Three Kings of the East through the neighborhoods
Since 1956, the “Magna Cabalgata de Reyes”, an outdoor theatrical performance, has been held in Agüimes. The script for this staging emerged from the inkwell of Orlando Hernández Martín, a “whole and serious” figure of Canarian literature, born in this town in 1936. That “Magna Cabalgata”, was renamed Auto de Los Reyes Magos on June 6, 2009, and is performed every year through the streets of this beautiful old, historic town.
At 19:30 the Royal Entourage and the parade departs from the gardens of the Colegio Nuestra Señora del Rosario, beginning a traditional tour of five stages passing through the Los Moros park, until it reaches the Plaza del Centro de Mayores to continue along Avenida Joaquín Artiles, until they reach the Plaza Nuestra Señora del Rosario by the main church in the old quarter
The first scene is a meeting with the shepherds on Calle Juan Alvarado y Saz.
The second scene, the annunciation is performed at the Parque los Moros.
This is followed by the third scene, a visit to Herod’s Palace at Centro de Mayores
The fourth scene depicts the appearance of the Angel at the parish complex
And the fifth and final scene, is the nativity scene at the Plaza Nuestra Señora del Rosario
At the end the Mayor will give the keys to all the houses in the municipality
SAN BARTOLOMÉ DE TIRAJANA
Día de Reyes in Maspalomas on Thursday, 5 January 2023
The Parade starts at 17:30 from Calle San Mateo. *** For route to follow see map below***
After the parade, the reception of their Majesties in Parque de San Fernando and at 22:00 a concert by Efecto Pasillo.
In Tunte on Thursday, there is a dance workshop at 17:00 and the reception of their majesties at 18:00, and the parade starts at 18:30 followed by a children’s party with illusionist Juan Miguel and clowns Fede and Leandro
The Three Kings of the East will visit the municipality of Mogán on the 5th of January. The procession will leave Veneguera at 10:00 and will culminate in Arguineguín around 18:00 at the Arguineguín pier.
The Three Kings Parade begins from the pier and will head towards the Plaza Pérez Galdós. Once there, they will be given the key to the municipality and the little ones can give them their letters.
That same day, at 20:30, the representation of the ‘Auto de Reyes Magos’ will take place in the Church of San Antonio de Padua. This dramatic piece, of cultural value, reflects the experiences of the Magi during their journey to adore Jesus after his birth. With it will end the Christmas events in Mogán.
Mogan Mall in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria
Christmas Market until 5 January. Opening hours on Tuesday and Wednesday 17:00-22:00 and on Thursday 12:00-20:00
Superhero Show on Wednesday, 4 January at 18:30
“Let it Snow” on Thursday, 5 January between 11:00-14:oo
SANTA LUCÍA DE TIRAJANA
Wednesday 4 January
• Los Reyes Magos are touring the main street of the municipality in their convertibles to collect letters from the children.
The tour will begin around 10:00 in Santa Lucía village, where they will depart from El Paradero and will make a circular route through the roads Tomás Arroyo Cardoso, Leopoldo Matos, Senador Castillo Olivares, Pérez del Toro, Maestro Enrique Hernández González and will end at the same starting point. At 11:00 they will arrive at the coastal area starting their journey from the back of the Víctor Jara theater and passing through Vecindario, El Canario, Balos, Los Llanos, Cruce de Sardina, Casa Pastores, La Blanca, Sardina, La Orilla, Doctoral Casco, Pozo Izquierdo, Doctoral and Vecindario. Check the map here!
• Children’s party between 16:30-20:30 on the pedestrian area of Avenida de Canarias.
• Toto the clown at 16:00 on Plaza de San Rafael
• Welcome party of the Reyes Magos and letter collecting on Plaza de San Rafael from 17:00 to 21:00
• Kids Rock History concert at 18:30 at Plaza de Los Algodoneros
Thursday 5 January: Gran Cabalgata de Reyes 2023
• The Big Reyes Parade at 18:00 from Cruce de Sardina to Teatro Victor Jara/Mercacentro. It will also have a section of the route without music for people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and/or with sensitivity to noise.
• Concert by Family Soul Band and Los Lolas from 21:00 at Plaza de San Rafael
2-5 January, the traditional “Feria de Reyes”, the artisan craft market on the pedestrian area of Avenida de Canarias 10:00-21:00 (on the 5th open until 22:00)
Reception of the Three wise men, The Three Kings at 11:00 at Plaza San Gregorio with musical “Un paseo por tus sueños”
GRAN CABALGATA DE TELDE 2023
Telde recovers their parade after two years of restrictions due to the pandemic and reserves a section for children with autism or acoustic sensitivity.
The tour of the parade will be the same as the last few times. It will start at 17:30 from calle Argentina (the first stretch to Avenida de la Constitución will be reserved for people with autism or sensory sensitivity) and will pass through Gutiérrez Armario, Alonso Quesada, Poeta Fernando González, Avenida de la Constitución, plaza de San Gregorio, Rivero Bethencourt and María Encarnación Navarro.
Reyes concert at Plaza de San Gregorio at 21:00 by Tataband and Tío Matt
GÁLDAR, 5 January
at 10:00 Children spectacle “Cuentópolis en Rebelión” in Estadio de Barrial
at 11:00 The arrival of the Three Kings by helicopter to the Barrial football field.
at 17:00 The Grand Parade from the La Enconada neighbourghood passing San Isidro and the street of the old historic helmet to Plaza de Santiago
at 19:00 The traditional Auto de Los Reyes Magos at Plaza de Santiago
at 21:00 Aseres concert at Plaza de Santiago
TEROR, 5 January
At 16:00 the parade of SSMM the Three Wise Men of the East will depart in vehicles from the Puente del Pino to the Plaza de Sintes, accompanied by a lively parade with stilt walkers, jugglers and story characters, along with music of Banda Isleña and Batucada ‘Caribe’. Afterwards, the mayor of Teror, Sergio Nuez, will deliver the key to the Villa to his Majesties in the Plaza de Sintes, so that they can leave gifts in all the homes of Teror.
Wednesday 4 January, The arrival of the Kings will be preceded by the visit of the Royal Pages the day before. The emissaries will arrive at Plaza de la Candelaria in the afternoon from 16:30 to 20:00 collecting the last letters so that everyone receives their gifts on time. The Royal Pages will be accompanied by a batucada, bouncy castles, workshops and dolls, turning the day into a party before the big day of the Parade.
Thursday 5 January – Reyes Magos parade in Carrizal. The route prepared for the Great Parade will begin at 18:30 from the Huerta del Obispo continuing along LH Pílcher, República Argentina (the silent section will be located on Calle República Argentina, from the Vuelta Olivares roundabout, passing through Parque Camelot to the exit to Avenida Carlos V), Avenida Carlos V and Avenida de Canarias to Plaza de La Coronación, (La Jurada)
SANTA BRIGIDA 5 January
The three Kings parade returns to its traditional itinerary. On Thursday, the streets of Santa Brígida will be filled with excitement with the arrival of the Three Wise Men mounted on camels.
The royal entourage will tour the streets of the urban area and will depart at 18:00 from calle Circunvalación and will arrive at the Church square after passing through calles Ramón y Cajal, Nueva y Real where the boys and girls will be able to give their letters to Their Eastern Majesties.
Before, the mayor of the municipality, Miguel Jorge Blanco, will give Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar the magic key that will open all the houses of Santa Brígida.
VALSEQUILLO 5 January
In the pedestrian area of Valsequillo Casco on Thursday, there is an little batucada at 10:30. Children’s entertainment at 11:00 to give welcome to the Three wise men from the East. Christmas show at 12:00 and at 13:00 the official reception of their majesties.
Later in the evening, the Reyes Magos parade takes place in the streets of Tenteniguada, starting at 19:00
Reception of the Three Wise men from the East at 11:00 in the church of San Juan Bautista.
at 11:30 you can leave your letters at Plaza de San Juan
The Parade starts at 19:00 and follows the route from the municipality warehouses via Avenida El Mirón, Suárez Francy, Francisco Gourié, and will end at Plaza de la Constitución.
FIRGAS 5 January
Three Kings Parade through the street of the town centre between 11:00-14:00
ARTENARA 5 January
The highest altitude village on Gran Canaria, Artenara has workshops and bouncy castles starting 11:00 on the main square.
The lovely little parade starts at 12:00.
Wednesday 4 January – the representation of the Auto de Reyes Magos in La Alameda at 20:00
The Auto de Los Reyes Magos is a dramatised performance in polymetric verse. The text recounts the arrival of three Magi from the East to Jerusalem in search of the new king and their meeting there with King Herod.
Enjoy one of the most special events of these Christmas holidays, in which oral tradition, theatricality and the cultural heritage come together”
The Canary Guide