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Living Nativity Scenes in Madrid

Written by Laura

One of the most important Christmas traditions within the Spanish culture is the nativity scene, a decoration with rich meaning for this time of year. Although in the last years certain Iberian Christmas traditions have been modified and begun to lean more and more towards the Anglo Saxon, many homes in Spain still celebrate the tradition of living nativity scenes. The scenes are usually displayed within the home, created with small figures and structures that represent the birth of the baby Jesus that can be either simple and minimalist or more decorated and extravagant. In Spain, there is an alternative to these smaller scenes: the living Nativity scenes. These the more realistic version of these scenes with wooden or glass figurines, as they include actors that pose as the principal characters in this famous scene for everyone to see life-size. Today, in this article from ShMadrid, we’ll be talking about the living Nativity scenes for all to see in the city of Madrid.

Related article: Madrid’s Holiday Traditions

View the scene of Jesus’ birth in Madrid

Photo via Pixabay

The manger in Bethlehem, featured in the story of Jesus’ birth, is a place where livestock, such as cows and donkeys, typically go to eat hay. On the journey during which Mary and Joseph discovered that King Herod wanted to kill their newborn son, as he was to be the son of God, the pair sought refuge in a barn when they could not find room to seek shelter anywhere else. This was the place where, according to the legend, that Mary gave birth to Jesus, laying him in a manger full of hay among the livestock who provided warmth to the family. As tradition has stated, the angels watched over the family, who were in the company of a group of shepherds as well as the Three Wise Men, who were guided by a star and led to the resting place of the newborn baby. This tender and beautiful scene of the birth of Jesus, one that is a vital aspect of the Christmas season to many people, is represented in different areas throughout the city of Madrid each year by actors and volunteers in a holiday show that draws in viewers of all ages.

Related article: Where To Go For Christmas Dinner In Madrid

Photo by calafellvalo via VisualHunt

In Madrid you can enjoy the famous living Nativity scenes in Buitrago de Lozoya, a lovely town in the Comunidad de Madrid that is well worth a visit at this time of year. On December 15, 16, 22 and 23 from 6:30 to 8:30 you can view the fabulous living Nativity scene in the Plaza de la Constitución de Buitrago. Another option is the scene at Berrueco that is celebrated from December 22-29 at 6:00. You can also see the living scene representation that takes place in Alalpardo, where more than 200 people gather to act out of the most beautiful Nativity scenes in the Comunidad de Madrid. It takes place in the Parque de Nuestra Señora del Rosario. Lastly, there are the living scenes, also called living Bethlehems or living manger scenes, that take place in another beautiful town, El Molar. Here, in order to make the Christmas experience as authentic as possible, the scene is offered in a very special place that resembles the landscapes of Palestine – the Caves of el Charcón.

Do you plan on visiting one of these living Nativity scenes in the Comunidad de Madrid?

About the author


American journalist writing about the beautiful country of Spain. Her passions include news and feature writing, Spanish language and culture and the outdoors.

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