Holiday Celebrations In Arizona



El Nacimiento is a Tucson treasure presented every year in La Casa Cordova

A special Tucson tradition is El Nacimiento which is on display in La Casa Cordova at the Tucson Museum of Art.  El Nacimiento means The Birth and is a traditional Mexican nativity scene.  For centuries, joyful and colorful Christmas celebrations of Mexican families have centered around Nacimiento displays in their homes.

This annual exhibition is an elaborate and very special version of cultural inheritance.  An intricate arrangement of hundreds of miniature figures combines the symbolism of the Spanish Colonial Catholic Church with the simplicity and faith of everyday existence in rural Mexico. Some of the scenes are from the Christmas story in the Bible; others show traditional Mexican village life with an accuracy that extends to the tiny replicas of kitchen utensils in country dwellings. The glow of a myriad of tiny lights binds the multifaceted collection of scenes into a magical fantasy world.

Truly a labor of love, the installation of this beautiful Christmas vision is done by a devoted daughter in memory of her mother.   Maria Luisa Tena spends months each year preparing and arranging the Nacimiento.  Her dedication to her mother's memory is the reason this age-old Mexican family custom is preserved and shared.  It has been delighting visitors since 1978. 

               JUDI MONDAY, CRS         


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