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The Three Kings Parade (Cavalcada dels Reis Mags) is one of the most beloved and iconic events in the Balearic island of Majorca. Taking place every year on January 5th, this colourful fiesta celebrates the arrival of the Three Wise Men into Bethlehem after Jesus’ birth.
In Majorca and across Spain, Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar are honoured in grand style, with festive parades bringing music, dances, floats, and street performers to locals and visitors alike.
The holiday represents the height of the Christmas season for many Majorcans. While Christmas itself is still hugely popular, Three Kings Day retains a special place in local traditions, marking the day when Spanish children historically received their presents rather than on Christmas Day. The streets come alive with excitement and revelry, drawing participants from all walks of life to enjoy the festivities.
Dates and Location
Date: January 5th
The main Three Kings Parade takes place in Palma de Majorca on January 5th every year. More local parades also occur in villages and towns across the island.
Location: Palma de Majorca, Majorca, Spain
The largest and most famous Three Kings Parade is held in the island’s capital, Palma de Majorca. The colourful procession begins at the Old Harbour (Moll Vell) near the historic Gothic cathedral La Seu. It then winds through over 3 kilometres of Palma’s streets before finishing in the lively Born district.
The Three Kings Parade is a vibrant, mesmerising celebration that brings light and joy to Majorca in early January. As the sun sets over Palma Harbour, crowds gather to welcome the arrival of Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar on an antique 19th-century sailing ship.
Dressed in elaborate robes and crowns, the regal Wise Men wave from their majestic floating thrones at the adoring fans below.
What follows is a magical nighttime procession of dancers, musicians, acrobats and extravagant floats depicting scenes from the Nativity story. There are cartoon camels, twinkling shooting stars, and nutcracker kings standing over 15 feet tall.
Boiled sweets rain down upon children and adults alike who line the parade route hoping to gather as many as possible.
The spectacle concludes near midnight when the Three Kings appear on the balcony of the Palma Town Hall to bestow their blessings and officially start the holiday.
- The Arrival of the Three Kings
The centrepiece of the entire event is the ceremonial arrival of the Three Wise Men at Palma’s Old Harbour as night falls. Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar make their grand entrance aboard El Rafael Verdera, a stunning 19th-century merchant ship, to the delight of the waiting crowds.
As the regal figures disembark in their vibrant silk robes and gemstone-studded crowns, fireworks shoot into the sky and fanfare from musicians fills the seaside atmosphere. It’s truly an unforgettable sight as this beloved Majorcan tradition officially begins.
- The Three Kings Parade Floats
Another visual highlight of the festivities are the artistic parade floats that glide through Palma’s streets portraying Nativity scenes. Some of the most impressive creations include a towering float of the three kings standing 15 feet high alongside camels, an angel with giant wings seemingly floating on wires 40 feet in the air, and dancing gingerbread men and soldiers.
Many of the floats take artisans and designers over three months to construct by hand, using techniques passed down through generations.
- Catch Sweets Along the Parade Route
A beloved tradition during the Three Kings Parade involves the distribution of boiled sweets. As the floats go by, parade participants symbolising pages, royal guards and handmaidens toss fistfuls of wrapped sweets down to the children below. Part of the fun is scrambling to gather as many treats as you can – just be prepared to compete with other foragers!
- See the Kings’ Floats Up Close
At the end of the parade route, the public is allowed to get an up-close glimpse of the magnificent floats before they are disassembled. Marvel at the intricate details like shimmering brocades on royal robes, or stop to appreciate all the hard work put in by the local artisans and designers who make the magic happen.
- Enjoy Tapas and Drinks Along the Route
The Three Kings Parade passes through Palma’s trendy La Lonja neighbourhood before finishing up at Born Square. Take time before or after the procession to explore the area’s bohemian alleys and side streets filled with bustling tapas bars, hip wine joints, and hidden nightlife gems. It’s the perfect place to keep the festive vibes going!
The Three Kings holiday is centred around gift-giving in Spain, so there are plenty of shopping opportunities connected to the celebrations in Majorca. Local markets and stores overflow with decorations, cakes, sweets and presents during this season:
- Nativity Scenes & Decor – Pick out hand-crafted terra cotta or porcelain figurines to build an authentic Spanish “belén” Nativity scene. Shops also sell wreaths, ornaments and seasonal home decor.
- Speciality Sweets & Cakes – Bakeries have Roscon de Reyes cakes available only in early January. This doughnut-shaped sweet bread is decorated with candied fruit and often has a small gift or figurine baked inside. You can also find themed chocolates, candy, and marzipan.
- Toys & Gifts – Department stores mark down items after Christmas, while speciality shops sell unique Majorcan handicrafts. Look for bags of candy or small toys meant to fill children’s shoes on the eve of January 5th per local traditions.
Tips for Visitors
Getting There: Traffic restrictions are imposed and many streets closed in Palma’s historic centre during the parade. Public bus routes may also change – check EMT’s website for alterations. Walking, taxi or ride shares are easiest, and garages/car parks are plentiful.
Accommodation: Hotels near the harbour or in the old town will allow the easiest access by foot. Reserve months in advance for premium viewing spots along the route. Some hotels offer special Epiphany packages.
Local Etiquette: Arrive early to claim a good viewing curbside spot, and take care not to block aisles or entries. Be respectful of residents whose homes line the route by keeping noise levels reasonable late at night. Clean up any of your litter before leaving.
The Cavalcada dels Reis Mags is organized by the Municipality of Palma with support from local community groups.
The Three Kings Day Parade encapsulates the best of the holiday season on the sunny shores of Majorca. Locals and visitors alike gather to embrace festive traditions passed down through generations, featuring colourful floats, street performers, music, costumes and gifts that evoke the magic of the holidays. There’s no better place to get into the spirit of the season than at this beloved island spectacle.
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Mark Kaye is a travel writer and content creator living in Majorca, Spain. Originally from the UK, Mark moved to the island and quickly fell in love with Majorcan culture, food, and scenic landscapes. When he’s not busy writing detailed guides about Majorca’s top tourist attractions and hidden local gems, you can find him out exploring coastal trails or wandering the streets of Palma’s Old Town in search of his next great restaurant discovery.