Festivals in Sevilla, Spain

Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos & Epiphany (January 5/6)
On January 5, Sevillanos – especially families with excited children – come out in droves during the evening hours to see the highly anticipated Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos, a huge lively parade that treks through the city celebrating the arrival of the Three Kings. The atmosphere buzzes with energy, lights and vibrant colors as the Three Kings – and their equally costumed entourage - toss sweets from their extravagantly decorated floats to the scrambling children lining the parade route. The excitement continues the next morning, when those same children awaken with delight to discover that the Three Kings visited during the night to leave hoards of presents.

Corpus Christi (early June)
The traditions of the yearly Corpus Christi, commemorating the institution of the Eucharist, include a mass, a religious procession, and the dance of los seises. Throughout the center of Sevilla, flower-adorned balconies compose a quaint backdrop to a beautiful procession that passes through the labyrinth of winding streets. In the cathedral, a special mass is celebrated and los seises, a group of ten young choirboys donning red and gold garb, sing and perform traditional dances within the solemn, awe-inspiring atmosphere of Sevilla's enormous gothic cathedral.

Nochebuena & Navidad (Christmas Eve and Christmas, December 24-25)
Lights illuminating the intertwining streets, vendors selling roasted chestnuts, and hundreds of Nativity scenes set the stage for the Christmas season in Sevilla. Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) is an extremely family-oriented holiday as family members from near and far gather to excessively eat, drink, and basically have a blast late into the night. The family fun continues on Navidad (Christmas day) although it's definitely a bit more low-key than the previous night's festivities. A present or two from Santa Claus may await children when they get up, but the day they're really waiting for is January 6, when the Three Kings – a la Santa Claus times three - come bearing gifts.

Nochevieja (New Years- December 31/January 1)
A celebration that takes place across Spain, the Nochevieja consists largely of family gatherings early on that then give way to partying with friends in the streets and plazas. In Sevilla, the place to be is the plaza right front of the Ayuntamiento (City Hall) - preferably with a good view of the clock. When midnight is struck, the widespread Spanish tradition is to eat twelve grapes – one with each stroke of the clock – resulting in quite the spectacle and a year of good luck for those who manage to do it.