The Bethlehem portal, as a representation of the birth of Christ and linked scenes such as the Adoration of the Magi or the transfer of the cowherd boys, is a tradition with centuries of history. And, like all historical representation, has undergone the logical evolution over time and the proliferation of customs and local specifications of the many places where this Christmas icon is installed. But… Do you know the different scenes of the Nativity scene portal?


Bethlehem or Nazareth?

One of the first questions that every Nativity scene poses when he sets up his first performances is about Birth of the child Jesus: did it happen in Bethlehem or in Nazareth? A task more typical of historians, who do not even agree on this point. According to biblical tradition, there is no consensus either. Matthew and Luke point out that Bethlehem was the place where the Messiah was born; Marcos and Juan present him as a native of Nazareth.

Independently of the different historiographical currents, that continue discussing the real origin of Christ, we can not deny the tradition of "riding the nativity scene", in clear reference to this first-century Palestinian town. Nor should we leave aside the lyrics of the carols, for much effort that the students put. However, it is important to know that, regardless of tradition, the Nativity of Bethlehem is the most important scene of our projects.

announcing_Belen Diputacion de Cordoba- 2015

The Annunciation; Belen of the Diputación de Córdoba 2015


5 fundamental scenes of the Nativity scene portal

Let's see the most important scenes that are usually represented in the assemblies of the nativity portal:

  1. The mistery: the most important scene of the portal is, undoubtedly, the Birth of Christ. Also called crib, for the improvised cradle of the Child, represents this clothed by the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, forming the Holy Family. The tradition includes the mule and the ox on both sides of this popular Nativity scene.
  2. The three wise men. What would a portal be without the traditional image of the Magi mounted on their camels, and accompanied by their pages? Guided by the Star, they are usually represented by their movement throughout the montage, until the 25 in December arrives at the manger.

    Belen del Santo Montilla 2015-Author Antonio Ramirez

    Wise men; Bethlehem of the Saint - Montilla. Author: Antonio Ramírez

  3. The town: Nazareth or Bethlehem, the truth is that the great representations do not usually forget the recreation of houses, streets and traditional elements from the time of birth. In a freer interpretation of the portal, there are nativity scenes that represent current peoples or specific architectural styles, according to the author's taste.
  4. La Annunciation: the angel Gabriel announced to the Virgin that the Messiah would be born from his immaculate conception, a scene that, although earlier in time, for many has a privileged place in the portal.
  5. The Adoration of the Shepherds: In addition to the Magi, God announced the arrival of the Messiah to some shepherds who tended their flocks. Hopeful, the shepherds went to Bethlehem, where they found the Child in the manger. It is difficult to imagine a portal where the cowherd boys are missing around the Nativity.
  6. Castle of HerodIn another of the historical-geographical incongruities of the Nativity scene, the palace residence of King Herod was in Jerusalem, although it is usually included in most of the domestic nativity portals. Of a vengeful nature, Herod was enraged to learn of the birth of the Messiah, propitiating the next scene of the portal.
  7. Flight to Egypt: in the Dream of Joseph, the angel advised him to they fled to Egypt before Herod committed his slaughter. This flight is usually represented with the Virgin Mary on the back of the donkey, carrying the Child in her arms, and Saint Joseph guiding the two.

Belen by Antonio Fernandez Velasco 2014

Flight to Egypt; Belen by Antonio Fernández Velasco 2014

Of course, there are nativity scenes that represent many other scenes, like the inn, where there was no place to house the Sagrada Familia; the market, with different craft stalls and agricultural products; the Visitation of Santa Isabel or the enumeration, among many others.


Which of these scenes are not missing any year in your portal of nativity scene? Do you include any that we have not mentioned?






Fecha: 26 / 08 / 2016|Categories: Curiosities|Tags: , , , , , |

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