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In a traditional Nativity scene, a woman washes a garment in the river. This time, she’s getting those nasty stains out in an outdoor sink.
Nearby, a young bobby sock-wearing girl plays hopscotch.
Two men are playing pranks on their downstairs’ neighbors: they’re fishing for sardines, which are steaming away on the barbecue grill below.
Not pleased about it at all.
Ain’t no shepherd herding sheep here. A man hangs his whites on a laundry line. Nothing sexier than a man doing domestic chores.
Adding a caga tió touch. A neighbor feeds a whole plate full of food to his pooping log on the terrace. So Catalan.
The Three Kings do bear gifts, but this time, it’s in a sack. And he’s stealthily climbing up a ladder.
There’s another one sneaking up. Three o’clock!
The man of the hour, the reason for the season: Baby Jesus in a crib. And his parents: the Virgin Mary wearing an apron and Saint Joseph in a pullover sweater. I still can’t get used to this depiction.
The details of this neighborhood panorama are impressive. The terrace setting feels clean and uncluttered. The focus is on the activity of the figures, which are made of polyester resin fiberglass.
Here’s a short video of the making of this Nativity Scene and its special sparkle it displays at night.
I thought the installation had an interesting composition and its models were beautifully designed. But I prefer a more traditional Nativity Scene: Jesus in a manger, a magi presents his gold, shepherds tend to sheep in rolling pastures. Not the concrete jungle that is the city. (Okay, so it’s not really an interpretation of a hardhearted New York).
I like a Christmas Nativity scene to have a more direct representation of the Biblical event, a scene that gives me a feeling of nostalgia and sentimentality — the stuff I loved as a kid! I’m all for modern design, but perhaps the Nativity scene felt a little too removed from the essence of Christmas. What do you think?
California native, churro aficionado, and mom of 3, Justine Ancheta writes fervently about Barcelona and Spain. Since 2008, she's been eating burnt onions (calçots) and tripping on cobblestones in the Gothic Quarter. She shares tips on popular attractions, exposes offbeat non-touristy spots, and gives insight on exploring Barcelona with kids. Her next Catalan culture challenge: top level of a human castle (castellers).
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