Seville Videoshots: The Mercadillo de Belenes

It’s been a while since I’ve focused a Monday Snapshot on Seville – I’ve simply had too many other things to write about, and planning a Spanish-American wedding can get consuming. In fact, I was a downright Scrooge about my holidays, as other commitments had me working and not enjoying the Christmas lights downtown or traditional Christmas dinners with friends and coworkers.

Seville's Nativity Market

A foiled attempt to run a few last errands before the holiday gave me about 20 minutes to explore one of my favorite fixtures to a sevillana Christmas: the mercadillo de Belenes. Belén is the Spanish name of the city where Jesus Christ was born, and the so-named nativity scenes go from basic with just the Holy Family to full-blown towns with running water and animatronics.  

Where other European countries have Christmas markets with traditional handicrafts, we get pooping statues in the corner of the Nativity and even town wenches. Spain is different.


While our sorry excuse for a Christmas tree barely has ornaments, let alone a fancy nativity, I’m greatly looking forward to building one, beginning with the Holy Family and the animals – and maybe even a caganer.

Have you been to any sweet Christmas markets?

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. THAT was awesome!! I especially love the flamenco dancers in the nativity scene.
    Wandering Educators recently posted..A White House ChristmasMy Profile

  2. Sadly, I have not been to any Christmas markets this year, can you believe it….maybe 2015 will be the magical time for me to visit Europe during Christmas time.
    noel recently posted..A visit to the Oracles of Delphi – Travel Photo MondaysMy Profile

  3. I’m heading to Seville in a few days, I can’t wait to visit this market!
    Ashley recently posted..Cuentos de Cantabria: Santoña’s SecretMy Profile

  4. i love the Sevillanas dancers in the scene! Andaluces are perhaps the people with more wit to create funny and lovely things!

    happy Christmas Cat, and hope 2015 is a year with a lot of success, and your blog continues to be great.

  5. We love the look of this market. Although we think our Belén de Arena shades it. What’s not to love about a miniature Bethlehem crafted from sand?
    Gran Canaria Local recently posted..Restaurante TehranMy Profile

  6. Awww! Christmas spirit!
    Lillie recently posted..Travel Fashion at Two Free Washington, D.C. AttractionsMy Profile

  7. I always love to see how different countries interpret Nativity Scenes . . . such creativity!
    Larissa recently posted..Odd America: Visiting Carhenge in NebraskaMy Profile

  8. These Nativity Scenes look so fun- especially the one with flamenco dancers!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..PHOTO GALLERY: Our Top 20 Photos of 2014My Profile

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