Nativity Scenes in the Canaries

Christmas trees are a newish thing here, although probably most houses have one now. The main traditional decoration is nativity scenes. Some just show the stable, but some public ones are so elaborate that they include the whole village, and it’s always a Canarian village. Obviously that’s historically inaccurate, but no more so than all the English nativity scenes where Mary and Jesus are blond.

This one was on display in Santa Cruz de la Palma last year. As you can see, it came complete with moving figures and running water. In fact the lights at the back are on a timer, and simulate sunset, night, and morning too. I didn’t include that on the video, because it took too long and I didn’t think the camera would film the low light levels anyway.

Usually a large nativity scene (belen in Spanish) includes at least one person squatting behind the bushes. If there’s one here, I missed it.

Posted by sheila

Sheila came to La Palma with a six month contract and has stayed 24 years so far. She used to work as a software engineer at the observatory, but now she's a writer and Starlight guide.

This article has 1 Comment

  1. How wonderfully extravagant! Best I’ve ever seen – though can’t say the same about the Christmas tree in your previous post.

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