This Saturday is one of the most important for children all around Spain. It is the day when the Reyes Magos (Three Kings) come to every town and city, in processions of varying sizes and scales of magnificence. The following morning, a Sunday this year, presents have miraculously appeared in houses for excited little ones to open.
Ducking along side streets to get as many views of the Cabalgata (and opportunies to catch the sweets and gifts thrown by the bewigged Kings from their floats) is a fine art - the seasoned experts know exactly which part of the procession will arrive at which esquina (corner) when.
This year, you can take the guesswork out of the event with a new app called "Cabalgata Ateneo de Seville 2012". This features a range of information for the festive season in Seville: a list of nativity scenes with address, hours and map location of each; details of Christmas pastries produced at each convent; a history of the event with black and white photos; and for the procession itself (which consists of 33 carrozas, or floats), names of the floats and how many people are on each, the route (a round trip from the Tobacco Factory building of the University, along the eastern edge of the old city and then down through the Alameda and centre, and over the river to Triana and Los Remedios), and timetable (4pm-10pm).
The carrozas I'll be looking out for are Roman Seville (number 12), Around the World in 80 Days (number 13), the Mayas (number 20), and intriguingly, El Mundo de la Patata (number 15). The Kings themselves are at number 11 (Melchor), 22 (Gaspar), and 33 (Baltasar), always preceded by their pages. For those unaccustomed to Spanish fancy dress, be warned that blacking up your face is still considered acceptable. Cultural sensitivity is not a strong point, so expect caricature rather than faithful portrayal.
On the evening itself, you can see the current location of the procession using geopositioning, similar to a Semana Santa app I've mentioned in a past post. The app, which is free and is available for iPhone and Android, also has a twitter timeline.
You can visit the Ateneo de Sevilla website at Ateneo de Sevilla.