In Spain, there are impressive parades on 5 January: the three kings are welcomed to town, wishes are made and then the children leave their shoes out before they go to bed that night in the hope of presents from the Kings the following morning. The following day, 6 January or Epiphany, is a public holiday.
Schools never start back before 7 January and the winter sales start on 7 January too. So for those of us for whom Christmas is over by 26 December, this represents an opportunity to elongate the holiday (Christmas markets in Spain are open until 5 January), and even to do the winter sales shopping twice!
The Three Kings parade (Cavalcada dels Reis) in Barcelona is quite an event. If you are staying in town your hotel will be able to give you the parade timetable. If you need to leave for the airport that afternoon, make sure you are not in a car park that will be closed until the parade is over.
Here are some photos to whet your appetite: they may encourage you to book flights now for next January.
Click on any photo below to start a slideshow:
For more on Catalan Christmas festivities, see Yule Log.
For the latest on the 2014 Kings parade, see Barcelona Cultura, and follow their twitter feed #ReisBCN.