Well I saw something here in México City that I found truly fascinating even for me.
I went to lunch with my British lady friend Mary Williams. She took me to eat great food at this fabulous Lebanese restaurant near the Zocalo in México City’s Centro Historico district. After lunch Mary took me to a place where people go to purchase clothing for their baby Jesus or Niño Dios. YES clothing for a baby Jesus doll, getting ready for the Día de la Candelaria, or Candlemas in English.
The area we went to is blocks longs and blocks wide and full of 100’s booths selling Niño Dios clothing, crowns, shoes, chairs, etc. Even if your Niño Dios, that has been in the family for generations, breaks or chips, don’t throw it away, you can get it repaired or freshly painted at this location.
Let me back track a moment. In México during Christmas you see Manger, Nativity Scenes set up all over the place. The Nacimientos as they are called here can be quite elaborate. I happened to notice that the manger scene lacked the baby Jesus in the scene. So asked why no baby Jesus and I was told by a friend, “That is because he isn’t born yet.” Well it was not Christmas day so it made sense to me.
Then on Christmas Eve I find myself at the Cathedral at the Zocalo for midnight mass, Misa de Gallo, and there are lots of people in the church holding their baby Jesus doll waiting for it to be blessed; all new to me. After the mass the baby Jesús is then placed in the manger scene, making the Nativity Scene scene complete, at least for a while.
People still have Día de los Reyes, of Day of the Kings on January 6th and then Día de la Candelaria on February 2nd. Día de la Candelaria is where the people’s baby Jesús doll gets all dressed up, then placed on a chair, a stand or even a horse. The clothing, crown, shoes can be costly and some people will do without so their Niño Dios can have the best and it turns out their own children get the least!
Amazing how a naked baby Jesus laying in a manger could be dressed so elaborate. To read more about the Día de la Candelaria click here.
To see a slide show of the pictures I took at this dressing baby Jesus market, click here.