Christmas nativity scenes around the world

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Christmas nativity scenes around the world

Christmas is around the corner and with it come many mind-blowing and original creativity scenes all over the world. Let’s learn about some of the best and most creative scenes from 2021.

Spain: recycled face masks nativity scene and the erotic nativity

This year, Spain has had some of the most creative nativity scenes. A town in the Spanish region of Granada has inaugurated the first nativity scene to be made out of 10,000 recycled face masks. Spain hopes that over 25,000 people will visit the scene. Local representatives began collecting masks for the scene in August 2021 and said they have been overwhelmed by the “extraordinary response” that the initiative has had. As well as being made out of masks, the figures in the nativity scene are seen wearing masks, and the three kings are holding a child that has been vaccinated against COVID-19.[1]

Another scene that caught the interest of the public and the judicial authorities in Spain was in the city of Seville, where an ‘erotic nativity scene’ was displayed in a shop window of a bakery. The nativity scene included baked figures that looked like penises and vaginas. It will be investigated whether this constituted a crime against religious beliefs. This follows two official complaints, one put forward by the far-right Vox party, and the other by an ultraconservative Catholic organisation named the Christian Lawyers. The President of the Christian Lawyers group, Polonia Castellanos, said that the display was “offensive and degrading” to all Christians, and added that “it can be viewed by anyone, including children.”[2]

100 nativity scenes’ exhibition in St Peter’s Square

For the fourth year in a row, the Vatican is holding an international Exhibition called ‘Mostra dei 100 Presepi’ (100 Nativity Scenes). At the exhibition, more than 100 nativity scenes will be displayed from Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Peru, Indonesia, Uruguay, Colombia, Taiwan, and the United States. The exhibition will take place outdoors in St Peter’s Square from 5 December 2021 until 9 January 2022.[3]

One of the most interesting scenes at the exhibition is created by the company Il Cioccolato dei Trappisti (The Trappist Chocolate). It will display nativity scenes made out of 100 kilos of chocolate.

Moreover, the Italian bus company ATAC will display a nativity scene in the front of a bus.[4] [5]

One of the highlights of the Vatican exhibition is the Peruvian-themed nativity scene made of the traditional dresses and peoples of Peru. The culture of Peru is highlighted in the scene and the three kings bring gifts that are typical products of the Peruvian culture, such as quinoa and corn.[6] [7] [8]

Live Nativity Scene in Washington:

In Washington, after a year-long break due to COVID-19, live nativity scenes at the Washington National Cathedral are returning. In 2020, the scene was recorded and watched by 15,000 viewers. This year, already 1,100 out of 1,900 available seats were booked. The cathedral’s provost Jan Naylor Cope said that the nativity’s return “means everything” and that “it’s somewhat ordered in joyful chaos.”[9]

Christmas is a time of creativity

We have seen how Christmas is a time to express, through the nativity scene, originality and creativity around the world. Religion becomes a way of colourful and original self-expression. It is now time to enjoy it.

Ghila Amati

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[1] Un pueblo de Granada inaugura el primer belén del mundo hecho con mascarillas

[2] Dos juzgados de Sevilla investigan un “belén erótico” con penes y vaginas

[3] Vatican hosting ‘100 Nativity Scenes’ exhibition in St Peter’s Square

[4] Il presepe da cento chili di cioccolata in mostra al Vaticano: tra le 126 Natività anche quella su un autobus Atac – la Repubblica

[5] “Fermata prenotata”: il presepe è dentro il bus Atac. La vettura sotto il colonnato di San Pietro – la Repubblica

[6] Peruvian Nativity Scene Featured for Christmas 2021 in the Vatican | Business Wire

[7] Vatican prepares for Christmas with variety of nativity scenes on display | Crux

[8] At Vatican’s Peruvian Nativity scene, Pope Francis again warns against ‘indifference’

[9] Live Nativity Scenes Are Making Their Return to Washington This Holiday Season | Washingtonian (DC)