Welcome to the Culham/REEP online Advent feature for 2010.
At Christmas many of us set up little nativity scenes in our house, with small model figures of the shepherds, kings, Mary, Joseph and Jesus. This is a tradition that is found in many countries. Our Advent feature this year is based on a set of such figures from Italy.
In Italy the nativity scene is called ‘il presepio’. Naples is famous for a street called Via San Gregorio Armeno, where craftsmen make model Nativity figures all year round, many of which are bought by tourists.
Such figures are often finely made and can be very expensive. The figures that we are using this year are from Calabria and were made about 50 years ago by a peasant craftsman. They are much more rough and unpolished than the kind you can buy in tourist shops. Perhaps that makes them even more appropriate for our celebration of a poor child born in a stable?
To discover the characters in our Christmas crib, and to find out more about the Calabria region, enter the 2010 Advent feature.
For more information about the Calabria region and the figures
used in this year’s Nativity scene, see the background