The Royal Herald comes by horse accompanied by his retinue to ask for “venia” or permission to the Mayor of the city to pass through the city on the 5th of January with his cavalcade. At the same time his retinue gathers the children’s letters directed to the three kings.
It is a celebration of christian roots that celebrates the Epiphany of the Lord. According to tradition, the three kings visit at night all the children’s houses to bring them the toys they requested by letter. The letters are directed to one of the three kings of the East: Melchor, Gaspar or Balthasar.
Organized by the Ateneo since 1918, and begun by José María Izquierdo, payed for by popular subscription, this cavalcade rides through the streets of Seville bringing illusion, beauty and joy to all the children who watch as the Three Kings throw them tons of candies.
Other cavalcades exist as well, organised by the associations of neighbors of each district in which children, parents and merchants take part. Not as beautiful, but prepared with illusion, in which there is no lack of rockets and fireworks, candy, and the live music bands that cheer the atmosphere with their lively marches.
The festival of the Three Kings is later celebrated in every home in which they find toys for the smallest children, gifts for the adults and the very typical twisted pastry roll of the Kings.
They are also celebrated although Seville has seen that these carnivals have almost totally disappeared; some neighbor associations have begun to re-organize, though only in some districts and schools.
On the Sunday of Carnival, sixes initiate the eighth, that is to say eight days that dance before the Santísimo in front of the Great Altar of the Cathedral, to make amends for the days of carnival.
The religious celebration that announces the beginning of Lent, the starting moment for cofrades (brotherhoods), nazarenes, and costaleros, the hidden carriers of the extremely heavy religious floats, all begin to move: tripairs, quinarios, novenas, tests and rehearsals, the transport of religious images, rehearsing the steps they must take. Each day there are many things to do as Easter approaches.