Today, or maybe yesterday at this point, was the day that many children in Spain have eagerly been awaiting all winter. The day of the three wise men, as it’s literally translated, is known to many as Epiphany in English. It’s the day when Spanish children traditionally receive their gifts, though now many families do gifts on Christmas and Epiphany.
Biblically speaking, the day celebrates the visitation of the Magi (also known as the three kings) to the baby Jesus, symbolizing the revelation of Christ’s god/man powers to the gentiles. Those three characters climbing the rope in between the multiple Santa Clauses in the above picture (taken in La Puerta de Segura) are said Magi, and people had those things up all over Spain! Instead of Santa leaving presents under the tree, I am pretty sure the wise men break into peoples’ houses somehow and leave gifts under their shoes in exchange for hay/sweet wine/other goodies. Kinda like St. Nicholas day in the U.S., for those of you who were raised Catholic here, but better.