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Saint Francis of Assisi, who spent time in Madrid in 1214 on his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, is credited for creating the first live nativity scene in 1223 in order to cultivate the worship of Jesus. He himself had recently been inspired by his visit to the Holy Land, where he had been shown the Son of God’s birthplace. The scene’s popularity inspired communities throughout Christian countries to stage similar exhibitions.
Distinctive nativity scenes and traditions have been created around the world, and are displayed during the Christmas season in churches, homes, shopping malls, and other venues, and occasionally on public lands and in public buildings.*
In Madrid, here are some of the important belenes this Christmas:
> At Plaza de España, open throughout the Christmas season. One of this year’s biggest favorites, the belen is sculpted with LED bulbs
> Beautiful belenes at the Plaza Mayor’s Mercadillo de Navidad (Christmas Market), open throughout the Season
> Belén of the Ayuntamiento de Madrid: Patio de Operaciones. CentroCentro. 27 Noviembre 2021 — 5 January 2022. Closed 1 January
> Municipal Belén: Plaza de la Villa. 26 November — 5 January. Closed 25 December and 1 January
> Nacimiento (Nativity) by Amparo Espinosa Rugarcía: Museo de América. Avenida de Los Reyes Católicos, 6. 25 November — 13 February. Closed 24, 25, 31 December and 6 January
> Belén at the Municipal Junta (Junta Municipal) of the Retiro District: Plaza Daoiz y Velarde, 2. 11 November — 9 January. Closed 25 December and 1 and 6 January
> Belén de Navidad: Centro Cultural Francisco Fatou, Villa de Vallecas. Calle Manuel Vélez, 10. 7 December — 8 Janaury. Closed 25 December and 1, 4 and 6 January
>Belén Arganzuela: Sala de La Lonja, Casa del Reloj, Paseo de la Chopera, 10. 10 December — 9 January. Closed mornings of 10, 11 and all day on 25 December, and1 and 6 January
Featured image/Daniel Lobo, CC BY2.0
Christmas bear/Saiba Rahman, Pixabay
Christmas holly/OpenClipart-Vectors, Pixabay
Texts, prints, photos and other illustrative materials depicted in GUIDEPOST have been either contributed by the authors of each published work or, to the Magazine’s good-faith knowledge, are in the public domain or otherwise benefit from the allowances of Articles 9(2), 10, 10(bis), and applicable others of the Berne Convention for the Protection of literary and artistic works.