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Mexican Consulate Hosts Second Traditional Manger and Kings Art Exhibition

On Monday, January 6, the Consulate General of Mexico inaugurated the second annual exhibition of 3-dimensional Manger and Magi scenes (nacimientos y roscas de reyes). The occasion was Kings Day, which celebrates the visit of the eastern Magi mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew to pay homage to Jesus as the newborn King of the Jews. The event is a holiday in many Catholic countries in Latin America, Europe, and Asia but it has a particular tradition in Mexico.

Manger and Magi art exhibit by local Mexican groups on display at Mexican Consulate
Manger and Magi art exhibit by local Mexican groups on display at Mexican Consulate
photos by Marc Pembroke
Magi Exhibit by D. Dorothy Caram on Display at Mexican Consulate
photo by Marc Pembroke

The first manger scenes are traced to Giovanni Bernadone, better known as Saint Francis of Assisi, who is believed to have installed the first scenes around 1223.

At the time of the Spanish Conquest, The manger and magi scenes were used by early missionaries to teach the gospel to people who could not read or write. More particularly, the Aztecs adopted the Gospel message and art representations to their culture. The Chikawa Aztec Dance Group of Conroe, which preserves Aztech Dances and Cultural traditions among Aztecs in the USA, was among those creating an exhibition.

Eight organizations, groups, and individuals participated in the exhibition under rules published about a month ago. They included: Grupo Chikawa Conroe, Federacion Ciudad Mexico. Dra. Dorothy Caram, Mtra. Laura Morales. La Prensa Houston, Mi Tenda, Casa Tamaulipas, and Saber es Poder.