Before the season is over I have to come back to the topic of pessebres, i.e. Christmas cribs or nativity scenes, as I have learnt that they are called. Under no circumstances must be this interpreted as a sign that my efforts to integrate are turning me into a Catholic. It is just that in Protestant Sweden we do not have anything which can match these and they are so beautifully elaborated.
And there are very many of them. In Vilanova, except for the large outdoor crib which the Associació Pessebrista build on the Plaça de la Vila every year, in their premises they exhibit fifteen smaller ones. There are benches for children to stand, so when I went there with my two little sons I did not have to lift them up but they could explore everything by themselves. Neither did I have to worry about them touching the fragile cribs since they are all placed in protecting glass cases.
The figures are being recycled year after year, but the landscapes are always built from scratch. Thanks to spotlights and thought-through modelling they look very realistic. Many scenes present traditional calm settings from Betlehem or Jerusalem, but one of the artists has put the holy family in a war zone (possibly as a reminder of what is currently going on in Gaza).
There is also an interesting interaction with references from Catalonia - above all Vilanova motifs like the Castell de la Geltrú or the Plaça de les Cols, but also a huge fictive town from the Pyrenees with a typically Catalan Santa Llúcia market. Look carefully and you will see that not even the caganers have been forgotten.
The exhibition can be found at C/ Cabanyes, 17 baixos and will remain open until January 18 (Monday-Saturday: 19.00-20.30; Sundays and holidays: 12.00-14.00 plus 18.00-20.30).
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Technorati tags: Catalonia, Penedès, Vilanova, Wirdheim