Sleepy Bridge

My city still has a drawbridge at one of its gates in its ancient walls. It’s the so-called France’s Gate. And it works. Of course, we don’t need today sentinels on the battlements, watchwords to enter the city, and keep the gates closed at night. So the drawbridge remains asleep, with its wooden platform down, all the time, and the gates, open.

Once a year, on the eve of Epiphany, the old drawbridge gears begin to creak and move to lift the platform completely and block entry while hundreds of excited children and their parents await the arrival of the Magi’s colourful cavalcade.


Heralds in medieval clothes with trumpets announce that the Magi are near and they ask for permission to enter the city because they are bringing gifts for the children. The city Mayor, or his representative says at first that is too late to open the door. The children begin to shout: No! Lower the drawbridge! Open the door!. The main herald insists once more to get the same answer. Only at the third time, the mayor say yes and the city workers begin to lower the wooden platform, to the delight of the children who begin to cheer and clap. Then, three men wearing fantastic robes, riding beautiful horses, arrive waving and smiling and begins a cavalcade and a feast that continues all the evening.

Note: The tradition in Spain is that the Magi are the ones who bring the gifts to the children

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