As has long been tradition, Melchor, Gaspar and Baltazar visited Xàbia on the evening of Friday 5th January to fill the streets with happiness and joy as the festive season drew to a close.
The anticipation could be felt in the days leading up to their arrival as the Royal Pages visited the municipality to collect letters from the children whilst the Royal Entourage set up camp amongst the trees of the Parque Montaner.
And then, right on time at 5.00pm, rockets heralded the arrival of Their Majesties in the port, travelling on the fishing boat Soltercer Xàbia. Welcomed by mayoress Rosa Cardona, the councillor for Fiestas, Mavi Perez, and the priest of the port parish, the Three Kings then set off on horseback though the streets of the port accompanied by their colourful entourage which included dancers and huge carts of presents. Now and then, huge blue ladders were lifted from another cart and placed against a balcony where a page climbed up to deliver presents to excited youngsters. In the Paseo Jaime I, they made a few speeches to the gathered masses before meeting the children.
Meanwhile, the parade continued slowly up to the old town, where the blue ladders made several more visits to balconies before the Three Kings joined up again and made their way to the Placeta del Convent where they met with more excited youngsters before the families drifted away to their homes to enjoy a dinner and await the delivery of the presents.
Photos by Fay Hughes