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""El Nacimiento" (The Nativity)" Top 5 Page for this destination Caracas Local Custom Tip by carolinaEspada

Caracas Local Customs: 82 reviews and 87 photos

  "El Nacimiento" = Nativity
by carolinaEspada

Although we are open to any kind of forein Xmas traditition and celebration: xmas trees, carrolls in English, german breads, italian pandoro and pannettone, spanish "turrones", french bois de noel, the welcoming of the spirit of xmas on Dec. 21rst, wearing funny earings from the U.S., getting dressing in red and green, etc... our tradition in Venezuela is to put a "Nacimiento". A nativity scene with San José, Virgin Mary, the mule and the "buey" (oak?), a little white lamb, people from Belén (Bethlehem), the STAR and three holly kings, which in Spanish are called Reyes Magos (magician kings). We dont place Baby Jesus in the nativity until December 24th, when he was born.

This tradition, of course, comes from Spain. We were, if not discovered, at least found by Cristóbal Colón (Columbus) and then colonized and christianised by spaniards. Since colonial times, "nacimientos" are our tradition.

There are simple, modern, original "nacimientos" (like the one in the pic) and there are the trully traditional ones that require lots -tons- of work. With boxes covered with thick brown paper (like the ones of the groceries stores) you built a landscape with mountains and a valley.There always has to be a river -blue painting and glitter- that runs down from the mountain and ends up in a lake (a mirror...). Then is the whole mise-en-scene of the nativity moment.

You can see this everywhere: in houses, in the churches, in the subway, in the schools... anywhere.

Now, a sexual-reproduction thought:

Virgin Mary was virgin.
San José was much more older than Mary and it is said that he could not have any kids.
The mule is a mixed animal: is the result of the intercourse of a he-donkey and a she-horse; or a she-donkey and a he-horse. This mixed animal can not reproduce. It cant.
The "buey" is a castrated he-cow. A bull with out testicles (cutted in order to have an strong, but mild, animal for working in the field purposes).

Has this ever come up to your mind?

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  • Updated Dec 19, 2004
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