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DRESSING Niño Dios – BABY JESUS: Día de la Candelaria

2009 January 23
by Jesus

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.

Note the guy holding the big baby in a blue blanket. That is not a real baby but a baby Jesus doll. He is also keeping it warm from the cool Christmas cold. And the lady in front has the look of like she forgot her baby Jesus at home or maybe misplaced it.

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.

I wonder if this one pictured below is gay because of the gay colored feathers?
Though I think all this is fascinating and cool. I personally would not want one of these live looking things in my home – for I have seen the Chucky movies!!!
2 Responses
  1. marie terrell permalink
    September 24, 2009

    i am interested in making the figure nino dios availiable in ethnic markets here in San Diego county, California. My friend , Esperanza noted that the Mexican cultural icons are being lost to the second generation Americians. For instance i cannot find the figure for sale in this part of California although we are close to the border. Could you tell me how much an 8 inch baby and smaller cost? I found one suplier, a woman who lives in Rio Hondo, Texas, an American tourist who shops in Mexico and sells on her dot com business We would rather find a supplier in Mexico. Can you find me one?


  2. Julio Castro Tleyolot'l permalink
    March 3, 2010

    You can find the Nino Dios almost anywhere in any Mexican community. In botanicas, market places, even swapmeets or flee markets. You can go to Tijuana since you are in San Diego or travel up to LA. In East LA you can go to the Mercadito del Este de Los Angeles on the corner of 1st st. and Lorena. They have everything you need there.

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