Across the Spanish-speaking world, children enjoy a second round of gift-giving on Three Kings Day (January 6th) – Epiphany in the church calendar – and Mallorca is no exception. This tradition celebrates the visit of the Three Kings to Jesus’ stable in Bethlehem. Shoes stuffed with hay are left out at night to feed the camels of the Kings, enticing them to stop and leave gifts for the youngsters.
Festive foods are associated with the celebrations, like the crown-shaped ‘Three Kings Cake’ which has a bean or coin hidden inside. The child who finds it becomes the family’s ‘king for the day’.
In a spectacular display of pageantry, the Three Kings arrive aboard ship in the harbour at Palma on January 5th. Accompanied by a procession of floats and performers, the Kings parade through the town to the town hall square, all the while dispensing ‘caramelos’ (sweets) to children thronging the streets.