away in a manger

Did anyone else grow up with a nativity scene in their home for Christmas? Or is that just a Hispanic thing? Half of my family hails from South America, so el nacimiento has always been an obligatory decoration in our household. Although I'm not a religious person, I still think it's a beautiful tradition - I love setting up the little town of Bethlehem with its mix of sand and snow. 
Growing up, it was my responsibility to move the Three Wise Men closer and closer to baby Jesus every day - finally arriving to the humble manger on January 6th, known as El Día de Reyes or Three Wise Men Day. On the 6th, we usually eat la rosca de reyes, which is a ring-shaped piece of bread usually topped with sugar, fig, cherries and quince. Baked somewhere in the bread is a small plastic figurine of the baby Jesus. If you find the figurine in your piece of bread, you have to make the tamales for El Día de la Candelaria on February 2nd. Most people consider that day the true end of the holiday season, but in my family it ends on January 6th. Like most holiday traditions, it all varies widely from family to family, culture to culture.


julie said...

OO! This is so pretty all lit up! My grandparents had something similar to this under their tree. :)

Happy Holidays! -Julie

dathomiri witch said...
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dathomiri witch said...

We have one too! We bought it in Costa Rica back in the day - and its all terra cotta clay (some glazed, some not) - and even though we are a family of atheists we still put it out every year because its adorable! Its not elaborate like this - just figures of angels, wisemen, cows, mary, joseph, and that little baby guy ;) I added a photo to my holiday post.

thewaltz said...

Ha, just saw it on your blog! Awesome opossum. :)