The world’s best sand sculptors come out each December to help build a giant nativity scene on the Las Canteras Beach in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.
The custom was established by Canarian artist Etual Ojeda in the early 1980s when he started making nativity-themed sand sculptures that featured the customary images of the Virgin Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.
Ojeda continued for a number of years, adding a new element to the Christmas scene each year, with other sculptors joining in.
Today, the sand sculpture nativity scene has grown into the largest open-air sand sculpture in the world. According to the Gran Canaria Tourist Board, the artwork took more than 2000 tons of sand to construct and was created by craftsmen from nine different countries. Over 200,000 individuals visited it in the past year alone.
People pose for a selfie in front of sand sculptures depicting Christmas nativity scenes on the international beach resort of Las Canteras in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on the Spanish Canary island of Gran Canaria on Dec. 7, 2017.