Saturday, December 23, 2006

19th century Christmas Belen

Part of the Filipino Christmas tradition is the setting up of Christmas Belens. This goes together witht he setting up of Christmas trees to spruce up homes with the scent and feeling of the yuletide season.
We are spending Christmas in Bohol, hometown of my father, and incidentally, the place of my birth.
This will be the first time in decades that we will spend Christmas in Bohol, although each year, we come to Bohol to spend the New Year.
We went to the town of Loay today for a dinner invitation.
In the refurbished ancetral house of our uncle, we saw perhaps one of the oldest Christmas Belens in the province, if not in the country.
A Christmas Belen, by the way, is a depiction of the nativity, where little figures or miniature statues of the main players of the nativity, like Joseph and Mary, the infant Jesus, the shepherds, the three kings, the angels, among others.
In our grandparents' home, we depict the scene of the nativity with a lot of motorized figures just to make the Belen interesting to watch.
It was very innovative that for years, it was an attraction to many people who dropped by our grandparents home.
Anyway, in Loay home where we were invited for dinner, we saw a Christmas Belen which according to our hosts Grace, was a 19th century Belen, as it was the Belen of their great grandparests yet in 1895.
We marveled at this sight, as it graciously portrayed the scene of Jesus birth, with all the angels above.

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