• 01 of 12

    Dried Flower Nativity Scene

    dried flower nativity scene
    &copy Suzanne Barbezat

    Mexican Nativity Scenes

    Nativity scenes, called "nacimientos" in Spanish, are an important part of Mexican Christmas traditions. I am always amazed by the creativity that goes into constructing these elaborate scenes, and the variety of materials that are used to create them. Here are some photos of nacimientos.

    This Mexican nativity scene is made with dried flowers, which are known as flor inmortal, "immortal flower" or siempre viva, "always alive".

    This nacimiento was on display at the Noche de Rabanos radish festival in Oaxaca. See more photos from the Night of the Radishes.

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  • 02 of 12

    Nativity Bowl

    Bowl Nativity Scene
    &copy Suzanne Barbezat

    This nacimiento (nativity scene) by ceramicist Irene Aguilar Alcantara depicts the figures in the nativity scene around a bowl.

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  • 03 of 12

    Tin Nativity Scene

    Tin Nativity Scene
    &copy Suzanne Barbezat

    This nacimiento is made of tin. It was displayed in the Zocalo of Oaxaca City.

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  • 04 of 12

    A Nativity Scene in Levels

    A Mexican Nativity Scene
    &copy Suzanne Barbezat

    This elaborate nativity scene with several different levels was set up in the lobby of a hotel.

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  • 05 of 12

    Nacimiento with Piñata

    Nacimiento and Pinata
    &copy Benito Hernandez

    This nativity scene with a piñata hanging above it was on display at the Palacio Nacional, the National Palace in Mexico City.

    Like nacimientos, piñatas are also an important part of Mexican Christmas celebrations. Read about the history and meaning of the piñata.

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  • 06 of 12

    Clay Nativity Scene

    &copy Suzanne Barbezat

    I think this is my favorite nacimiento of those in this photo gallery, although I find it amusing that the baby Jesus is out of proportion to the other figures in the scene - he's the only one who fits in the stable!

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  • 07 of 12

    A Traditional Nacimiento

    Mexican Nacimiento
    &copy Suzanne Barbezat

    I found this nativity scene set up outside Teotihuacan archaeological site.

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  • 08 of 12

    Patio Nativity Scene

    Large ceramic nativity scene
    &copy Suzanne Barbezat

    The large ceramic figures in this nativity scene are about two and a half feet tall. The nativity scene takes up most of the patio of a historical building in Oaxaca.

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  • 09 of 12

    Three Folk Art Nativity Scenes

    Photo by Ivan Hernández, licensed under Creative Commons

    In this photo you can see three different nativity scenes made from different materials. You can also see the Mexican Christmas flower, the noche buena.

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  • 10 of 12


    A nativity scene
    &copy Suzanne Barbezat

    This is a small section of a huge nativity scene that was set up in a Mexican hotel lobby.

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  • 11 of 12

    3 Kings Christmas Lights

    It's not a full nativity scene, but I like the three kings shown in Christmas lights. These were part of the elaborate Christmas decorations in the Mexico City Zocalo one year.

    See more photos of the Mexico City Zocalo at Christmas.

    Read about Kings Day in Mexico (Dia de Reyes).

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  • 12 of 12

    Miniature Nacimiento

    &copy Suzanne Barbezat

    This miniature nacimiento is very elaborate with flowing water and a bridge.