Our town of Buitrago hosts a living nativity for four days in December. It’s a big deal and has going on for quite some time. And I’ve been looking forward to it for awhile. I believe around 2,000 – 2,500 people show up for it each night it’s put on. We watched the streets get blocked off and swarms of people head into the city center all day. I followed the directions on when to show up and where we would be going. What I failed to remember is that things happen here…..when they happen. So, nearly two hours after we arrived the program finally began. These two hours mostly consisted of us standing in line, eating loaves of bread hastily purchased, pleading with the kids to not crawl in the street and then waiting some more in a crowded mass until the program began. Jeff, Amelia & Clara left before it even started. Violet and I stuck it out. We had left at 6:15pm and returned home at 9:45pm (it’s a 5 minute walk away). Although at one point, I wondered if I had been standing with my knee’s locked and what exactly would happen should I pass out in a crowd of 2,000. I know what to expect now and we’ll try again tomorrow night but skip the early arrival and the welcoming portion of the program. That part was in Spanish anyways and it was so crowded there was nothing we could actually see. But the living nativity scenes were pretty amazing. There are 39 scenes winding through the castle and castle walls ending with Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and the three wise men. I imagined it more of a “working” farm sort of thing where the actors, acted out the scenes they were in. Instead they sat silent and completely still while this crowd of 2,000 walked past and took pictures. The actors are people from our village and surrounding villages. The girls recognized several of their classmates and one of Violet’s sat silent and unflinching as Violet loudly whispered her name and waved to her. Check out the complete set of pictures here.