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Kings Day – Dia de Reis – 6th January


The Dia de Reis falls on the 6th January. In the UK we know this as 12th night, usually the time when Christmas decorations come down.

It is the day that festivities officially come to an end, Kings Day in Portugal marks the adoration of baby Jesus by the Three Kings (sometimes known as the wise men) who travelled across the desert for 12 days to get to Bethlehem, they represented Europe, Arabia and Africa and travelled by horse, camel and elephant to present baby Jesus with three gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.



In Portugal it is a working and school day but also a day usually to spend quietly with family and loved ones. In some areas you may notice nothing different at all locally, however in some regions groups of grownups and children go door to door to sing typical carols – Janeiras (January songs).  In Madeira tradition has it that troupes will walk the streets at night, playing music door to door and singing Cantar os Reis (Singing of the Kings). In some larger cities and on the island of Madeira there are outdoor concerts called Concerto de Reis (Concert of Kings). You can find more about the Concerto de Reis in Serta here and in Porto here

This time is also of course another excuse to eat Bolo Rei (King Cake) a sweet cake with a hole in the centre, filled with dried and candied fruits. (If you missed the blog post recently which had a recipe so you can try and make your own Bolo Rei you can find it again here)






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