These adorable Nativity figures were hand-crafted in Barcelona by artist Ma. Aurora Castellano. Thank heavens we went to the Christmas fair over a week ago, or we wouldn’t have known her and discovered her creations! They’re about 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm each. So cute! (Click on the image to see the details on the figurines.)
Do you have a crèche in the house too? Tell us about it! :D
The Fira de Santa Llúcia is not only a place for buying Christmas decorations but it is also a one-stop-shop for those seeking Nativity figures and accessories made with skill and a lot of heart.
The tradition of depicting the birth of Jesus is ingrained in the Catalan culture. Although the first Catalan Nativity was made as early as the 14th century, the crèche with Joseph, Mary and Jesus became popular in Catalonia only two centuries later.
The opening of Barcelona’s Fira de Santa Llúcia in 1786 strengthened the tradition even more.
The pessebre (Nativity crib) in Catalonia and other parts of Spain is a reproduction of Bethlehem. In Spanish, it is called belén, which is also the Spanish name for Bethlehem.
The crib has a pastoral setting: a farmhouse with the manger scene and, around it, different scenes like a woman washing clothes by the river and shepherds herding their sheep.
What a busy weekend it was for me!
We went to Barcelona for the Christmas market, the Fira de Santa Llúcia. It was named after Saint Lucy who is the patron saint of eyesight.
The fair dates back to the 18th century. According to historical accounts, on 13 December 1786, feast day of St. Lucy, there were people praying and celebrating Mass in the Cathedral in honor of the saint and of the Blessed Virgin. Meanwhile, several stands outside were selling Nativity cribs as well as clay and cardboard figurines and images of saints, shepherds, animals and so on.
It has been organized annually without interruption since then.
Now on its 227th year, it is the oldest fair dedicated to Nativity scenes and Christmas traditions. The Nativity scene is called pessebre in Catalan.