Belén Viviente (Living Nativity Scene). Almayate (Vélez-Málaga). December. Unique Festival
This festival has been declared to be of Tourist Interest by the Provincial Council of Málaga.
Please check with the local Town Hall or Municipal Tourism Office for the festival date before planning any sightseeing activities.
In Almayate, the Living Nativity Scene is intensely experienced. The event recovers popular traditions from the Axarquía region, more precisely from this locality in the municipality of Vélez-Málaga.
The reenactment was initially performed on a house-to-house basis while a carol sang the Christmas Mystery. Of course, December 24th used to be the zenith of the Nativity Scenes. At the same time, the parish of Almayate hosted some live nativity scenes—both told and sung—that would stage the History of Christmas.
Nowadays, entire families are meeting by the end of December to bring to life the staging of this Bible passage. About 200 people usually take part in it, and the stage mixes purely classical decorations with the most advanced audiovisual media. In just over two hours and twelve acts, the play recreates the days from the Annunciation of the Lord to the Flight into Egypt by Joseph, Mary and the Child Jesus. Meanwhile, actors keep on reenacting the lives of the Bethlehem people, including their occupations as shoemakers, weavers, washerwomen, blacksmiths, fishermen—since the stage incorporates an artificial river. One will see recreated farmers working a real orchard, as well as fruit stands displaying authentic fruits. Also, a wide variety of livestock like goats, sheep, horses, donkeys and turkeys will amaze the little ones.
This one-of-a-kind show features a very realistic staging, in which characters on the stage will prepare some typical local food—black puddings, meat, chorizos, migas and chestnuts—to be later distributed to the audience.
This magical performance is full of music and colour. It typically takes place in the last weekend of the year, with a night scenery performance on Saturday afternoon, and a bigger one on Sunday morning at the Colegio Público Juan Paniagua school. The latter is attended by thousands of visitors who are happy to be part of an entire people' passion for their popular customs. The Chacina Festival provides a magnificent opportunity to visit the fully productive factories, and take part in fantastic tastings arranged by the Town Hall. Visitors will make provisions of tasty food and savour delicious freshly fried pork loin or sun-dried chorizo while feeling the mountain breezes on their skin.