As it is now officially the first of December I came across this lovely post about the Nativity scenes created in Italy. I have seen some really nice ones in family homes and have always wanted to create one myself. Second only to Naples, Genoa used to have the most popular production of ‘crib figures’. Enjoy!
Even though Christmas trees are widespread, the traditional Italian Christmas decoration is by far the Nativity scenes: il “Presepe”. From December 8, the Feast Day of the Immaculate Conception, through January 6, the Epiphany, you will find the Presepe literally in any family, church and shop. We could say that Presepe is the quintessence of Italian Christmas.
The Presepe is a fascinating ancient tradition. It originated in Italy in 1291 when St. Francis of Assisi asked Giovanni Vellita from the village of Greccio to create a manger scene. St Francis held a Christmas Eve mass there, starting a century old tradition. Over the years, displays became more and more elaborate, well beyond the manger scene and the traditional saints and biblical characters. The most elaborated Presepi include vibrant and lively representations of an entire village or neighborhood, often in a medieval-renaissance style setting. Complicated lights and water effects are fairly…
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