Tenerife’s calendar is chock-full with a wide range of celebrations, festivals, religious processions and that’s just the beginning of it! When many people are getting back to work after Christmas, Tenerife, like the rest of Spain starts to celebrate its own Christmas on 6th January.
Why not let your children experience a second Christmas by following our traditions. No need for more expensive presents but they could write a letter to the Three Kings. Then, before 5th January give their letter to one of the royal pages who are in the large shopping centres and local towns from 1st to 4th.
When night falls on the 5th both the old folk and children of the island welcome the arrival of the Three Kings (Reyes Magos). There are processions all over the island and each town has its own variation.
In Los Cristianos the biblical monarchs Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar make their spectacular entry riding camels from the harbour and process through the town following the star, to the Bethlehem stable where Jesus was born (aka the Culture Centre!) A large number of floats and a whole entourage of colourful characters who throw sweets to all the people who come out to watch, accompany the three Wise Men of the East. When the Kings arrive at the Culture Centre, as well as a live nativity and many animals there are Roman soldiers, shepherds, angels and dancers. The children line to tell the Kings what they would like as presents, the atmosphere is filled with Christmas carols and finally rounded off with fireworks.
According to tradition, on the night of 5th children should go to bed early but not before leaving their shoes out so that the Three Kings can fill them with presents.
The following day, the Feast of the Epiphany, is the most important day of the year for Spanish children, when they wake up to find that Los Reyes Magos have left them gifts. Santa may leave them a token present on December 25th but the Three Kings are their favourites.