As you know, the name Belen is a name for women which refers to the city of Betlehem in Jerusalem. In Spain during centuries families, schools, churchs or institutions as banks, big stores and councils used to build this big city of Belen in some corner at their place untill nowdays.
Sometimes the sculptures are made on wood by hand. Many “belenes” have real wather for the river and the windmill or movement for some characters as the baker, the carpenter, the shoe-maker or the miller between many others. Frequently people include real nature as sand, moss or stones. However, the most important is the part where we place Jose, María and the baby Jesus surrounded by the ox and the mule and called “pesebre” or “el portal”. It’s common to include the three kings in camels and to move them everyday untill 6th January when they’re suppose to reach the “pesebre”.
Many of them are considered as pieces or art, reason why there are many competicions untill 6th January, where the citiziens can appreciate the originality and the beauty of that tradition.
I’d love to introduce you to the competicion of my city with the article you’ll find below. Of course, i’ll try to visit that exhibition to show you with a video and pics some of these wonderful handcrafts.