While many towns and villages display nativity scenes in their town halls or other buildings (in Torre del Mar there is one in the Azucarera building, complete with live goldfish, while in Cómpeta a local father and son take over a premises on the main square to mention just two) some places go a step further and represent the story of Jesus's birth as a 'Belén viviente', or live nativity.
Residents and or actors dress up and play the roles of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the Three Wise Men, the Angel Gabriel and other characters to depict the Christmas story. Some even include a real baby as Jesus and most have live donkeys and other animals.
La Herradura in Granada province has a popular Belén Vivente every year. It takes place on Saturday 23 December at 8.30pm in the Plaza de la Independencia.
The Comares living nativity will take place this Sunday, 17 December, starting at the Puerta de Málaga at the entrance to the town. It will start at 5pm and will be followed by a Christmas concert in the Encarnación church at 7.30pm.
Almayate in Vélez-Málaga also has a long tradition of having a live nativity scene and it is recognised as being of unique cultural importance by the Junta de Andalucía. It will take place on 29 and 30 December at 6pm in the Juan Paniagua primary school in the village.