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Tonalá Nativity

Tonalá Nativity

Country: Jalisco, Mexico
Date: Unknown
Composition: Ceramic
Pieces: 14 Figurines

Christmas in Mexico begins on December 16. For many, the celebration begins by setting up the nativity scene, called nacimientos or pesebres. The nativity does not include the baby and the wise men, as they are added later. In the evening they celebrate Las Posadas or the nine Posadas (posadas means inn or lodging). Las Posadas is a procession of children who journey from house to house in representation of Joseph and Mary seeking refuge in Bethlehem. The children sing at each house, asking for shelter. They are turned away each time, until finally they arrive at the last house and are invited inside. Every night a different house holds the Posada party at the end of the journey. They celebrate with food, games, and a piñata. On Christmas Eve, after the last Posadas, the baby Jesus is added to the nativity. Christmas dinner is served, and at midnight many people attend Misa de Gallo, or Mass of the Rooster.

The Three Kings are added to the nativity on January 5. Although there are some places in Mexico where Santa Clause leaves presents on Christmas, typically Mexican children receive gifts from the Three Kings on January 6. They also celebrate the Epiphany with Rosca de Reyes, or Three King's Cake. The King's Cake has a tiny figurine baked inside. Whoever gets the figurine in their cake slice is the Godparent for Jesus and hosts a party for La Candelaria on February 2. La Canderia, the Candles, marks the day when Jesus was presented at the temple and ends the celebration of Christmas.

Tonalá Nativity - Mary


Tonalá Nativity - Baby Jesus

Baby Jesus

Tonalá Nativity - Joseph


Tonalá Nativity - Angel


Tonalá Nativity - Shepherdess


Tonalá Nativity - Shepherd


Tonalá Nativity - Sheep


Tonalá Nativity - Cow


Tonalá Nativity - Donkey


Tonalá Nativity - Wise Man

Wise Man

Tonalá Nativity - Wise Man

Wise Man

Tonalá Nativity - Wise Man

Wise Man

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