THREE Kings Day, as previously noted, is not something we celebrate in North America. My participation this year here in Spain, however, was thoroughly amusing.

The night before Three Kings Day there is a parade.

The first main float is the postman – a Santa-esque figure with a long, white beard and ivory-colored robes. He is followed by the kings, each with their own float, interspersed with various groups representing characters from famous movies, a local clown personality and marching bands.

Parades in the United States usually include throwing candy, small tootsie rolls or hard candies being the most popular, but Spain outdoes them and then some.

Not only does every float throw kilograms of candy for every block they pass, they also throw toys, stuffed animals and footballs.

The best part of watching my small town’s Three Kings parade was seeing the streets crammed with people of all ages. Every able-bodied person jumped and hollered when a float came near, hoping they would be one of the lucky ones to receive the little bag filled with fancy candy or a soccer ball or, better yet, the lucky one to catch the giant stuffed elephant.

There was an abundance of candy and trinkets to be had by all and it seemed like everyone around me was enjoying themselves – I certainly was. It seems like a superb way to keep the Christmas spirit alive through the New Year and keep people’s minds off the ever-present crisis.

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