Shijal ChudasamaJanuary 6, 2023

Christmas blackface parade celebrated in Spain despite protests

Christmas blackface parade celebrated in Spain despite protests

Spain's Alcoy - Spain's Three Kings Parade, which features an army of blackface pageboys and a Balthazar persona, has continued despite years of criticism in a small eastern community.

For the march on Thursday to give children Christmas presents, over 300 individuals in Alcoy near Alicante painted their faces.

Many participated in the festivities casually, defying requests from anti-racist organizations to end the custom.

Balthazar in blackface allegedly appeared at ceremonies in Valencia and Igualada, both in Catalonia.

Since 2017, when an Alcoy City Council billboard included a blackface pageboy to plead for the parade to be safeguarded by UNESCO heritage status, the activist organization Afroféminas has been urging a stop to the practice.

Virginia Jorda, an artist from the 60,000-person city of Alcoy, first did not comprehend the critique.

She admitted, "I didn't notice it. "[I] believed it to be a custom. No, it is not racist. They are not servants. I have been a page in the procession with my father, grandfather, and grandfather.

Her opinions changed, nevertheless, as a result of her studies and listening to voices outside of her group.

Because I think it's inappropriate, I can no longer take part in the parade, attend it, or go to view it, she said.

On the evening of January 5, the "three magic kings," or wise men, bring gifts to youngsters in Spain, and parades are held all around the nation.

According to recorded accounts, artistic depictions, and the imagination of the Western church, Balthazar, the biblical monarch who is claimed to have given the baby Jesus the gift of myrrh, was Black or Middle Eastern.

He was frequently depicted by those who had their faces painted brown or black, although the majority of Spain has abandoned this custom.

But hundreds of young people still use the cosmetics in Alcoy. They gather letters from kids with Christmas wish lists, and the next day, blackface pageboys, the king's assistants, distribute gifts by scaling houses with scarlet ladders during the night.

Despite outcry, Christmas blackface parade celebrated in Spain
Despite outcry, Christmas blackface parade celebrated in Spain
Participants dressed as beduins give candies to children during the Three Wise Men Parade (Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos) in Sevilla on January 5, 2017, marking the eve of Epiphany. Each year, parades are held across Spain on the eve of the Feast of the Epiphany, which celebrates the gospel story of the coming of three wise men to bring gifts to the Christ child. / AFP / CRISTINA QUICLER (Photo credit should read CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)
Despite outcry, Christmas blackface parade celebrated in Spain
Despite outcry, Christmas blackface parade celebrated in Spain
Despite outcry, Christmas blackface parade celebrated in Spain
Despite outcry, Christmas blackface parade celebrated in Spain
Despite outcry, Christmas blackface parade celebrated in Spain
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