Madrid Bans Candy Throwing at Epiphany
Every year on January 5, towns and cities all over Spain hold Epiphany parades where the Three Wise Men parade through on their way to deliver gifts to the baby Jesus. It's a popular attraction, because on the way to the gift giving, Balthazar, Melchior, and Gaspar throw handfuls of candy to the other children they pass along the way.
This year, however, the Wise Men will merely be waving their way through Madrid, because that city has banned candy throwing after a tragedy last year when a 6-year-old boy was crushed by a Christmas carriage as he ran for the candy.
According to The Local, the Three Wise Men will be allowed to throw their own candy when the parade passes through streets with adequate security fencing to keep the children safely away from the carriages. On other streets, the candy-throwing duties will be taken over by other parade personnel, who will walk alongside the carriages and throw candy into the crowds next to them.
"You'd be surprised what people are willing to do to get hold of a sweet," said Silvia Nuñez, a member of the security team in the Madrid district of Villaverde. "The only thing that's going to stop another tragedy is a proper security system."