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belÚn

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Un belÚn is a nativity scene.  In Spanish the name for Bethlehem is BelÚn with a capital "B".  Bethlehem is said to be the birthplace of Jesus.  Nativities are very popular in Spain.  Many homes will have one.   In some towns there may be very elaborate nativities in the town square.  In some towns they depict not only the scene in the manger, but also scenes leading up to and after the birth of Jesus. In some towns they use real actors.  One town in Spain shows 25 different scenes and uses 180 actors!  People walk throughout the town visiting the different scenes.  They have become very popular tourist attractions.    It is very common in a nativity scene that shows the manger to have stream or brook.  And in addition to the traditional animals shown at the manger, such as pigs, sheep and donkeys, you might also see that symbol of Spain, the bull.

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Nativity figures for sale in Madrid.

A nativity scene.  Notice the stream next to the manger.