Bethlehem’s Christmas, Birth, Mystery…

During the season of advent and Christmas, it is very common to find houses in Bethlehem, the birth or the mystery. All of these are representations by means of figures the story of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Some say that it is a derivation of the custom have at home a small altarpiece or altar with pictures and figurines in order to promote prayer and closeness to God.

During Christmas in these altars were placed images of the Virgin Mary with the child Jesus and Saint Joseph.

In s. 13th St. Francis of Assisi made in the Grotto in Greccio representation with animals and people that to present the story of the birth of Jesus in such a way that everyone could understand it. Some people tried to do the same in their homes using small figurines of wood or clay.

In Italy the custom spread throughout Europe but in Spain had a very special development. With the conquest of Latin America by the Spaniards, some friars took advantage of this resource from outdoor suppliers to teach the natives the Christmas mystery. The natives of America warmly welcomed the idea and eventually became a custom that is still practiced.

Days before the Christmas markets are put where you come you everything you need to make a birth. Next to the images the mystery (Joseph and Mary) and the child Jesus, are the ox and donkey, shepherds and their sheep. Also have figures for the scenes depicting local customs that accompany the birth as: women with baskets or buckets of water, sleeping, shepherds lambs on the coals. bridges huts, pigs, chickens and turkeys. The images of angels and the three wise men with their gifts can not miss.

The birth is a family event. Somewhere in the House the elderly begin to build portals, mountains, caves, rivers and villages to scale while others are placed the figurines on soft beds of Hay, Moss, straw, sawdust, illuminated by tiny pockets of colors. The afternoon family meets with the birth to pray the Rosary or other prayer in preparation for Christmas day.