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Recreating Christmas

The making of the Christmas crib is not just about showcasing one’s creativity but is also a time for bonding with loved ones learns NT BUZZ


The first nativity scene is said to have been recreated by St Francis of Assisi in 1223 at Gerrico, Italy with an aim to develop worship of Christ after his inspirational visit to the Holy Land, Bethlehem.

The nativity scene known as the crib depicts the night that Jesus was born. It features baby Jesus in a manger along with Mother Mary and Joseph. It also features other characters in the nativity scene such as the Three Kings who upon hearing the news of Jesus’ birth travelled far to visit him and present him with gifts, the shepherds with their sheep, and other animals particularly the donkey and an ox.

In Goa, one will witness many Catholic houses recreating this scene either inside their house or outside. These remain up till January 6 ie the Feast of the Three Kings or The Feast of the Epiphany.

And the duration spent in preparations for making these cribs varies depending on the size of the crib and the new innovations.

For Aaron Lemos, for instance, the preparations begin during the second week of December. “Depending on the size and number of people to help, it may also start much earlier. The bigger the crib the more time consuming and more people will be involved,” says the Parra resident.

However, owing to busy schedules and time constraints, others like Harriet Fernandes from Vasco begin work on the crib just

a few days before Christmas. “We don’t start with the work until we are free from work and college, hence we have to begin with the preparations as soon as we are on a Christmas break, that is after December 20,” she says.

And it’s not just for the homes, people also showcase their creativity in the various crib making competitions which are held around this time. For these competitions however, states Shannon Fernandes from Vasco, the planning begins months in advance, most preferably in October.

Over the years the nativity scene has begun to change with cribs becoming more extravagant and people going to great lengths with the help of modern technology to make sure that the crib they make stands out.

“Earlier cribs used to be simple. With a manger or a stable for the babe, some grass depicting the field where the shepherds and sheep were in, sand and mountains to match the desert area of where Jesus was born, and a water source. Now people go further and use lights, moving statues, sound effects, fog machines etc,” says Lemos.

Indeed, Joanna D’Souza from Mandrem states that her family makes it a point to come up with innovative ideas each year. And Crastro agrees that innovation is key. “The concept and detail can make a huge difference in the crib each year,” he says.

And though making a crib requires a lot of hardwork, working on it makes it exciting for most people because of different aspects.

“The most exciting part of the making is the placing of the various items. Every year something new is added to the crib, like a river with a bridge, or a small cave in the hills. The small details added in the making of the crib is the most fun part because you can get as creative as you want,” says Lemos.

Fernandes and Crasto meanwhile also points out that the making of the crib is also about unity. “The fellowship and working with friends to achieve something so unique and creative at the same time is wonderful,” says Crasto.

Harriet on the other hand says on the other hand, gets each and everyone involved in the festivities while also bonding with your family members. “For instance, I make the crib with my sister and we spend a lot of time planning and arguing over how to put it together. We end up spending a lot of time with each other,” she says. “I think the fact it makes you feel festive and really gets you into that Christmas mood.”

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