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The Christmas crib

A centuries-old Christmas tradition is repeated every year in South Tyrol. A few days before Christmas, the locals fetch their cribs from the cellars. The 'setting up' of the crib is something very special every year because it shows that the birth of Jesus and Christmas celebration is just around the corner.


In this tradition, the birth of Jesus is shown figuratively in stable in Bethlehem. These figures are usually carved from wood. At the manger, next to Jesus, there are also Maria and Joseph and the shepherds, as well as an ox, a donkey and some sheep. In some houses you can also find the three kings from the Orient (Caspar, Melchior, Balthasar)


The first crib was set up in Greccio by St. Francis of Assisi in the 13th century. If you want to admire the largest hand-carved Christmas crib in the world, you should go to Santa Cristina in Val Gardena.
In the Hofburg of Bressanone, instead, you can see during the Christmas season an exposition of cribs from three decades. 

Christmas crib
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