The culmination of Christmas and New Year celebrations in Alicante is the arrival of the Three Kings into Alicante overnight on 5 January, riding horses and leaving presents for the children.
Parents encourage children to write to the Three Kings with their gift requests. Every Spanish town and city has a procession this night where tons of sweets will be thrown from the passing floats, much to the delight of the children (and adults).
The streets of Alicante are decked out with colourful lights, nativity scenes can be viewed in open spaces and shop windows and, to the accompaniment of music, the Three Kings arrive in Alicante. This is the Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos anxiously awaited for by children as this is the night their presents arrive. During the parade through the streets of Alicante, Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar throw sweets and small gifts to thousands of excited children. After the parade tradition says that children should go to bed early after cleaning their shoes and leaving them where the Three Kings can find them. In the morning presents are opened.
On 6th January (Los Reyes Day), and a special cake is made and sold all over Spain. Called Rosca de Reyes, they are circular pastries (tasting similar to hot cross buns) and are covered in sugar and fruit flavoured jellies. Inside are plastic toys as presents, so be careful but anyone lucky enough to find one of these hidden gifts will be blessed with good luck for the New Year!