Baden children’s museum: how spain celebrates christmas

You can find out what traditions are maintained at Christmas time in the kingdom at the latest Advent exhibition at the Baden Children’s Museum. On Saturday was Vernissage with prominent attendance.

For centuries, nativity scenes have occupied a central place during Spanish Christmas celebrations at 'Navidad' - some artistically valuable, others carved with a great deal of imagination and passion

For centuries, nativity scenes have occupied a central place during the Spanish Christmas celebrations at "Navidad" – some of them artistically valuable, others carved with a great deal of imagination and passion.

With a tablespoon, the boy strokes a botella "Anìs del Mono": the "anise liqueur from the monkey" has been drunk and the heavily ribbed surface of the bottle has become a rhythm instrument. Like the row of bamboo tubes tied together in a trapezoid shape, over which a girl rides with a castanet, and the cooking spoon fitted with little bells, which became a jingle stick.

Other castanets, two tambourines, a guitar and a "zamboba" – a flower pot covered with animal skin in which a stick is stuck – are the other instruments that will be played on Saturday evening at Villa Funk on Baden’s Landliweg.

The Spanish youth choir listened to the words of Baden's mayor Markus Schneider at the opening of the Christmas exhibition

The Spanish youth choir listened to the words of Markus Schneider, mayor of Baden, at the opening of the Christmas exhibition.

Juan Carlos Gafo Acevedo, the Spanish Consul General in Zurich, Markus Schneider, the mayor of Baden, and around 30 other guests listen with rapt attention as the seven young girls and three boys sing Spanish Christmas carols with bell-like voices and fervor.

Advent is just around the corner, and with it the time for the Swiss Children’s Museum to bring us closer to Christmas customs from foreign countries. After the visitors had been taken to France, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Poland, Italy and eight other countries for Christmas, it is now Spain’s turn.

The Spanish Consul General in Zurich, Juan Carlos Gafo Acevedo, also found his way to the vernissage

Also the Spanish Consul General in Zurich, Juan Carlos Gafo Acevedo, found his way to the vernissage.

Already the vernissage on Saturday evening with the fascinating musical frame, the short speeches of the two official guests, the memories of the 79-year-old Andres Laso from Brugg of the festive days 40 years ago at home in the province of Barcelona as well as an aperitif with specialties conveyed a wonderful closeness to the way of life and culture of people who live among us.

Lionel Messi also available as a nativity figurine

In the exhibition in the basement you can immerse yourself in the Spanish Christmas customs – especially in those of the "Belenes", the nativity scenes. Whether artistically valuable designed, or cobbled together by small and larger hands with a lot of imagination and passion – for centuries nativity scenes have occupied a central place at "Navidad".

At the vernissage there were Spanish sweets to taste

At the vernissage there were Spanish sweets to taste.

Of course, the baby Jesus in the straw, Mary, Joseph, donkey and ox are not missing in any nativity scene – but in Spain they also include entire countryside and towns. Neither lush palm trees nor camels and elephants were missing. There is, out of plastic, sometimes Messi, Trump or Cleopatra, also in the game.

Above all, however, the nativity scene of Valencia-born Alma van Stiphout-De Simon from Oberrohrdorf invites visitors to linger for a long time and to enjoy studying it: it is enormously expansive and full of loving details. Among other things, you can discover a fish and a spice store, a market stall and a perfume store, a donkey pulling millstones, swans on the village stream and much more.

Children have to wait longer for their presents

While in Germany the Christ Child and Santa Claus bring the presents, in Spain, as it is written in the Bible, the Three Magi – Melchor, Gaspar y Baltasar – do this on the 6th day of Christmas. January. You are already parading through cities and towns the night before in large, colorful parades, like a "Badenfahrt" would probably be.

Christmas snapshots from previous years can be discovered in a photo book. In the background, the Three Kings who bring the gifts in Spain

Christmas snapshots of the past years can be discovered in a photo book. In the background the Three Kings, who bring the gifts in Spain.

In the exhibition one wins amazing impressions of it in a short film. The drawing of the legendary Christmas lottery, the biggest in the world with its billions in revenue and millions in payouts, is also illustrated, as is the fact that Spain is the third largest toy producer in Europe after Germany and Italy.

By the way, in the special exhibition it is also worthwhile to take a look over the door: There, from the richly stocked museum collection, are hung out on orange papers those in which Spanish citrus fruits were once packed.

Christmas exhibition from 13. November 2021 to 9. January 2022, at the Baden Children’s Museum, Landliweg 7, 5400 Baden, Germany

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