(Cover image: Belén del Santo; Montilla 2015, by Antonio Ramírez. The Three Wise Men are the figures that have caused the most debate due to their historical doubts: origin, ethnicity, true identity ...)

Christmas is just around the corner and it is almost impossible that your nativity scene is no longer sporting its figures and settings. If you are one of those who wait until the last day to mount the bethlehem portal, you may still be on time to receive these tips. If not, you can take note of the next year and take into account these 5 historical errors when setting up the Nativity scene we usually make.

Of course, you can also go beyond historical details and give your nativity scene the personal touch you want. The important thing is always live Christmas with joy...

Riding the nativity scene we make several historical mistakes.


5 historical errors when setting up the Bethlehem portal

The portal of Bethlehem is one of the essential Christmas contents in any house of Spain, a country with a rich belenista tradition. But that does not necessarily imply that we do it with an unappealable realism. Discover these historical mistakes we make in our nativity scenes:

  1. The Child Jesus himself: we are going to imagine in the current Palestine a newborn blond and with blue eyes. It seems weird, right? Well, with these little Asian features we usually represent not only Jesus, but the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and the rest of portal characters.
  2. The snow in the portal. Although it is not an impossible thing, it is unlikely to snow in the Birth zone. The climate in Bethlehem could be similar to the semi-desert of southeastern Spain. In fact, a snowstorm in the Middle East can be news... However, at ride the nativity scene in Europe We always add a touch of our own culture, hence we represent the traditional cold and snowy continental winters.

    It's strange that snow in Bethlehem. One of the most frequent mistakes we make when setting up the Birth.

  3. Baltasar, the black king. The oldest known representation of the Magi is in Ravenna (Italy), a 3th-century mosaic that shows XNUMX white magicians, as well as appear in the movie Ben-Hur. But, beyond any controversy, the truth is that Baltasar's ethnic "democratization" occurred around the XNUMXth century, in full expansion of Christianity beyond Europe. The reason seems obvious. There's others mysteries about the three wise men that are still to be resolved ...
  4. The pig, forbidden. The portal animals they are another historical license that we have been adding to the portal. The consumption and the raising of the pig in Judaism were punished. Nor is the turkey a typical animal of the area where Jesus was born, nor the fat cows we planted in our mangers.
  5. The buildings Many nativity scenes represent the Birth of Christ in their own scenery, sometimes even with real places in the city where the nativity scene is mounted. On other occasions, for no apparent reason, medieval castles, European houses ... or even Catholic churches are included. Obviously there were no such buildings in the Palestine of the first century. But the Bethlehem is much more than a historical representation, so here you can also afford certain licenses.


And you, did you know that some of these "traditions" that we keep when riding the manger are anachronistic? Will you correct those historical errors of the Bethlehem portal for next year, or will you continue to ride it as usual?

Tell us ... and send us a picture of your birth!


One Comment

  1. Jesus Grimaltos 04/07/2020 at 10:42 - Reply

    Hello, my name is Jesús and I set up the Nativity scene some years ago, today I have a Nativity scene of about 20 square meters approx. and I like to make practically everything for myself, now I am making a Roman fortress of approximately 1 square meter. (I'll send a photo when I finish it). It has been very interesting for me about the errors in the Bethlehem, the theme of the pig if I agree with the Jewish part but I think I'm not wrong in being able to put this animal in the Roman part. and if you allow me I am going to add another mistake that I see many times in Nativity scenes and that is to put potatoes or tomatoes since they did not exist, these products became known worldwide after the discovery of America by Columbus, in the year 1492, of course who want to put them is free to do so, it is simply a datum.

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