Dia de los Reyes is on January 6th and is when the Canarian children finally get their Christmas presents! There are lots of ex pats on Gran Canaria now so they do get some on 24th or 25th December, so they can show their non-Canarian friends what Santa brought! Actually, that isn’t strictly true because the three wise men bring the gifts here, not Santa (he’s probably glad of the help!)
This is a Gran Canarian sand sculpture of the three wise men:
Dia de los Reyes means “Holy Kings Day” or “Feast of the Epiphany” and is celebrated all over the island. Most Spanish-speaking countries celebrate this fiesta. Aguimes, in the North, is a good place to participate or watch because there is a street parade. The three wise men (locals, dressed up) hand Christmas presents to the children, mainly sweets and little toys.
One Dia de los Reyes tradition is to make Rosca de Reyes, which is a sweet bread in the shape of a crown, decorated with candied fruits to look like jewels. You hide tiny figures of babies (to symbolise Jesus) in the mixture. When it is ready, everyone cuts their own slice. If you get a slice with a baby in it, you have to throw your own party on or before February 2nd, which is El Dia de la Candelaria, or Candlemas.
If you’re going to be here over Christmas, Dia de los Reyes is a lot of fun (and you might get some presents!) It’s interesting to experience how Canarians celebrate Christmas and New Year (plus it’s very nice to be in the sun while you’re doing it!) This is a photo from last year’s Dia del Reyes (24ºC – not bad eh!)