Spain: 'Wise Man' quits Christmas parade after shouting fascist slogan
George Mills · 7 Dec 2015, 10:34
Published: 07 Dec 2015 10:34 GMT+01:00
For Andrés Vela, a businessman from Lebrija in Spain’s Andalusia region, it was supposed to be a chance to be king for a day.
He had been chosen by local officials as one of the monarchs to participate in the town’s traditional Three Kings procession.
Such January 5th processions are a highlight of Spain’s busy Christmas calendar and see the Three Wise Men, or Magi, parade through cities, towns and villages throughout the country distributing sweets to children.
But during a planning event for the Lebrija procession at the local town hall for the 2016 procession, Vela decided to occupy the seat usually reserved for the local mayor and shouted: “It’s me and my balls that are in charge here!”
He then yelled out “Viva Franco!” – a reference to the fascist dictator who ruled the country for nearly 40 years until his death in 1975.
To make matters worse, Vela filmed himself during the performance and distributed it to friends and colleague via WhatsApp, Spanish newspaper ABC reports.
The video eventually made its way onto YouTube but has since been taken down.
Vela has now resigned from his prized spot on the Christmas float and apologized for his “unfortunate choice of words”.
In Spain, the Three Kings or ‘Los Reyes Magos' play a similar role to that of Santa Claus in many other parts of the world. Spanish children write letters to the kings who then bring the children gifts the night before or on the morning of the Epiphany, on January 6th.
Santa Claus has grown in popularity over the past few years in Spain, but children still tend to receive their main presents on January 6th.