Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is personal view of Spain and Spanish life as seen by a Briton living in a small village in Alicante province.
The other tabs link to similar blogs when I have lived in other places. The TIM magazine is an English language magazine I write articles for.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Belén

As part of their Christmas routine most Spanish houses set up a nativity scene, called a Belén after the Castilian word for Bethlehem. There are lots of nativity scenes too in shop windows, outside in the streets as part of municipal celebrations etc.

For some reason or another an individual in Pinoso rents a shop which she calls a Belén museum. Unsurprisingly it is only open around the Christmas. We went to have a nose around the other day.

As usual the baby Jesus was the centre of the show. The Three Kings were just around the corner, there was the traditional figure having a crap in the fields (c.f. Clarence Carter and Patches) and the donkeys and oxen were doing their stuff despite the Angel Gabriel shining all around. But there were other really great bits; the polar bears were pretty cool, especially as they seemed to be mixing it with penguins and the crocodile eating the zebra was noteworthy. Maggie seemed to think there were fewer dinosaurs in Bethlehem than the model maker was suggesting and the volcano spewing forth lava had me vainly trying to remember whether there was a subduction zone running through Palestine/Israel at the time.

We've got a Belén at home but it lacks volcanoes, dinosaurs and all sorts of essential items that I will obviously need to purchase before next year!

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