Christmas cribs to visit

Christmas is approaching..the lights, crisp air, shop windows  are  the definite  signs and being a Christmas lover  the sensation is quite inebriating as it always fills me with a feeling of warmth and elation, beating recession, cold and all, and  bringing back lots of happy childhood memories.
Putting up the Christmas decorations was no easy task, I remember my grandfather standing on a ladder whilst struggling with drawing pins on the ceiling and  later the inevitable collapse of one of  the garlands. Thus out came the ladder again..Eventually though  the house was transformed and a joy to look at.
Another moment of fun was the Christmas crib, my brother and I would choose the positioning of the shepherds  amongst some very old  miniatures which included  noseless angels  and different sized animals .

Cribs are a source of fascination, I love  the miniatures and the ingeniousness of their settings; moss, cotton wool, talcum powder, mirrors, aluminium, matchboxes, shoe-boxes all assume a different meaning.

I have a friend who fills an entire room with a state of the art nativity set equipped with a stream of  actual running water and moving figures! So I thoroughly enjoy going to see nativity cribs which are quite a speciality in Sardinia, here there is  an assortment to go and visit, from live ones with real people to some genuine artistic treasures with beautiful miniatures in a variety of different materials, ranging from hand painted wood to cork, porcelain and bread dough!
For example, in Gergei, a small town near Cagliari, the “Sa Nascimenta”,  is organized. This  is a living and itinerant Christmas nativity in which on Christmas Eve, a hundred ”actors” or so put on old costumes and relive the Christmas events alongside their spectators.

 Alleyways, cobbled streets,  barns and stables of the city centre all come alive with the event,  complete  with the aroma of  roasted chestnuts and of the hot dishes served to the wayfarers. The itinerant nativity enacts the journey of the holy couple, their passage brings the village inhabitants to life who show the various ancient crafts and portray scenes from every-day life.

From mid December to the first week of January, in Olmedo, another small town in the north west of the Island, located between  Alghero, Porto Torres and Sassari, there is a very particular nativity set made with bread dough, created by  artisans in the magical context of the Church of  N.S.  Talia, a magnificent example of Romanesque architecture of the  XIIth century.
Simple ingredients and extraordinary ability allow the creation of this real work of art. You can see ladies hanging out the washing, every detail from their clothes  to the trees holding the washing line is made in bread dough! Some of the houses are faithful reproductions of real houses in the main square. Beautiful and quite extraordinary.

Comune di Olmedo – Piazza Nostra Signora di Talia – 07040 Olmedo (SS)
Tel. 079 901900 – Fax 079 9019008
Further information:

Christmas Cribs

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