Spain holds Epiphany parades amid tight security

Thousands of parents and their children are packing the streets of cities across Spain for Epiphany parades to celebrate the arrival of the Three Kings, with security tightened amid worries about potential terror attacks.

Madrid and Barcelona banned heavy vehicles from entering the city center and police were on heightened alert for the parades Thursday to help prevent any truck attacks like those in Berlin recently and Nice last year.

Spain has been one step below maximum national security alert since attacks in Europe and elsewhere in 2015.

The processions, held on the eve of the Christian feast of the Epiphany, feature decorative floats and people dressed as the kings bearing gifts for the baby Jesus.

Christmas gifts are traditionally given on Epiphany in Spain and many Latin American countries.