On my way back from the village early yesterday evening, I met a neighbour who asked wasn’t I staying around for the Kings’ Day cavalcade.
The usual conversation resulted, about the Kings as gift-bearers not being part of my culture. (“We do things differently en mi tierra,” is a useful gambit which usually puts paid to criticism of my unorthodox behaviours. After all, I can’t help being foreign.)
Well, it’s January 7th and Christmas will soon be over. And about time, too.
Here in Spain the festivities begin back in early December: the Inmaculada is the 8th, but it tends to link up with the national Día de la Constitución on the 6th and there begins to be a general feeling that everyone’s getting psyched up for the holidays.
It’s nearly Christmas, so it must be time to dust off the decorations. Not for me the tree and the tinsel, the baubles and ornaments that figured so importantly in my childhood. No, since living in Spain I have discovered the art of the Nativity Scene and each year I set out my own small belén at home.
As most people do, I started off with the central stable scene – referred to here as the pesebre (manger), nacimiento (birth) or Misterio (mystery) – but as the years go by I’ve added figures and scenes and now I feel the display really does warrant the term “belén” which is the Spanish name for Bethlehem. Continue reading “oh little town of Bethlehem”