Christmas in Spain: Christmas Decorations
In early December Christmas markets appear in the main plazas of many Spanish cities. These markets sell Christmas decorations, ornaments, Nativity scene figurines, garlands of greenery, and Christmas trees.
The Spanish center their home celebrations of Christmas around the Nativity scene, which they call a nacimiento (literally, “birth”) or a helén (which means “Bethlehem”). Nativity scenes also appear in churches and town squares around Christmas time. Children delight in recreating the home Nativity scene each year, often embellishing previous arrangements with new figurines, bits of moss, and other additions designed to add a touch of reality to the setting. In recent years Christmas trees also have become popular in some areas. Nevertheless, the Spanish cherish their Nativity scenes. True enthusiasts, called belenistas, join clubs dedicated to promoting and preserving Spanish crib-making traditions.