Forget Christmas , what really matters here in Tarragona is Epiphany and the arrival of the three kings.
It starts at the port of Tarragona where Balthasar, Melchior and Gaspar, dressed in their glittering finest, are brought to the shore by an official boat. Here they are greeted by revellers and official council representative and are let to a podium for a welcome speech. Soon after, they are led to their respective pimped up cars to the starting point of the grand parade.
Announced by Roman horse guards the procession starts its journey uphill. The streets are lined by thousand of kids and families holding up plastic bags ready to catch 2000 kg of sweets thrown into the crowd.
Gigantic themed carts pulled by garnished tractors and mounted by 240 children in biblical costumes float by. As far as theme goes there is a bit of everything: the orient, art nouveau, golden lions, a giant pink bunny, an elephant, camels, a temple, a replica of Tarragona’s cathedral, and, of course, the three kings on their mobile thrones, each accompanied by their own glittering entourage throwing sweets and waving hands.
When the procession reaches the perimeter of Plaça de la Font the kings dismount and walk up to the pulpit set in front of the town hall. They are welcomed by town mayor and are given the key to the city. As a thank you they promise to visit every child in Tarragona bringing gifts … provided it has behaved well throughout the year.
The evening ends with a multi coloured mapping projected against the the Town Hall and everyone walks home happy ready to unwrap presents.