Three Kings Parade in Santillana del Mar

Three Kings Parade in Santillana del Mar
It celebrates: 5th January
Place: Santillana del Mar (Cantabria)
Category: Representation
Popularity: (****) 4/5
Ideal for children
Organize: Santillana del Mar City Council
Known start date: Since 1959
Figure of protection: Festival of Regional Tourist Interest (since 1993), Festival of National Tourist Interest (since 2009)
Liturgical ActsCavalcadeParadesFamily EventsNational Tourist InterestRegional Tourist InterestChristmasParadesProcessions
Reading time: 3 minutes and a half

When talking about the Three Kings Parade in Santillana del Mar, it is impossible not to mention the Auto Sacramental. Both celebrations are made up of more than ten stages, which will offer you an experience you will never forget, because you will feel part of something important, such as the adoration of the Three Wise Men to the Child Jesus.

In this video you can see scenes from the Three Wise Men Parade in Santillana del Mar.

What is the Three Wise Men Parade in Santillana del Mar like?

On the expected 5th January, Santillana del Mar becomes a stage that evokes a journey into the past, allowing everyone present to witness the different scenes that make up the Auto Sacramental and the Cavalcade of the Three Wise Men of Santillana del Mar.

To carry out this important celebration, they have more than 500 participants, several floats, horses and the 3 camels, apart from the people who will represent the torchbearers, the pages, Roman soldiers, angels, among other characters that give life to each scene.

Courtesy of Tourism Santillana del Mar
Courtesy of Tourism Santillana del Mar

The celebration begins with carols in the churches, and then gives way to the Auto Sacramental, which includes various scenes related to the birth of Jesus. Some of the most representative scenes, which are sure to touch your heart, are the Roman Edict through the streets of the town and the departure of Joseph and the Virgin to the portal.

This is followed by the Three Kings Cavalcade, in which various scenes related to the journey of the Three Kings are depicted, and which ends with the adoration of the Three Kings to the Child Jesus in a living portal, and many fireworks and the classic Hallelujah by Haendel.

Origin of the Santillana del Mar Cavalcade

This beautiful representation began in 1959. The person who took the initiative to bring this celebration to life was the chaplain of the Convent of the Poor Clare Nuns, Mr. Antonio Niceas Martínez Gutiérrez, but it was all through the San Francisco Youth Centre.

As for the literary text used in the scenes and the characters of the time, this was included from 1966 onwards and is the work of the poet Leopoldo Rodríguez, a native of Santillana del Mar.

However, it is worth noting that this celebration has been maintained over time, thanks to the support of the neighbours and the Poor Clares.

Wonders to see in Santillana del Mar

This beautiful town has many options to see, in fact, in 1889 it was declared a Historic-Artistic Site, so we invite you to visit some of these wonderful places during your visit to enjoy the Three Kings Parade in Santillana del Mar.

The Altamira Caves, the Sistine Chapel of cave art, are 5 minutes away.
The Altamira Caves, the Sistine Chapel of cave art, are 5 minutes away.
  • Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana. It is considered one of the Romanesque monuments of the region. Its construction dates back to the 12th century, as an expansion of the old monastery of the same name.
  • Museum of the Barquillero. It is located in the House of the Archduchess Margarita of Austria, and offers an interesting journey through time to learn everything related to the profession of the boatman.
  • Tower of Don Borja. This is an impressive building located in the market square in the historic quarter of Santillana del Mar. Its construction dates back to the 15th century and is presumed to be of medieval origin.
  • Altamira Cave. Located around Santillana del Mar, it is considered the Sistine Chapel of cave art. It is a cave discovered at the end of the 19th century, and what stands out about it are the cave paintings that cover the ceiling and walls of the cave, which are more than 14,000 years old.

Gastronomy in Santillana del Mar

The gastronomy of Santillana del Mar stands out for its meat and fish dishes, as well as its delicious desserts. When you go to enjoy the Three Kings Parade in Santillana del Mar, don't hesitate to try these suggestions.

  • Cocido montañés: a delicious mixture of pork, black pudding, chorizo sausage, chickpeas and potatoes.
  • Cachopo: Do you like empanadas? Then cachopo is the dish you have to try. It consists of a beef pie stuffed with cheese.
  • Hake a la cantabria: try the hake, with tomato, peppers, onions and potatoes... A delight.
  • Flan de nata: one of the most popular desserts, prepared with sugar, milk, eggs and cream.

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