The Vatican Nativity scene will come from Peru

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Kings will have quinoa in their llama bags – a reminder that Jesus came to save everyone, as Peru celebrates its 200th anniversary.

The nativity scene to be installed in Saint Peter’s Square for Christmas 2021 will come from Peru, a statement from the Vatican City governorate confirmed on October 28. The big tree will come from the region of Trentino, in the northeast of Italy. The inauguration of the Christmas scene will take place on Friday, December 10.

After the impressive Abruzzo nativity scene which aroused mixed reactions during Advent 2020, the Vatican chose this year a nativity scene made by the Peruvian community of Chopcca, a small town in the Andean region of Huancavelica, whose altitude varies between 3,680 and 4,500 meters and where Quechua is spoken.

The crèche, which will be installed not far from the central obelisk in St. Peter’s Square, will include 30 rooms. Life size santons of the Child Jesus, of the Virgin Mary, of Saint Joseph, of the Three Kings and of the Shepherds were made from materials such as ceramics, agave wood and fiberglass.

The characters will be dressed in traditional costumes from the community of Chopcca. Thus, the Child Jesus will have the appearance of a child “Hilipuska”, wrapped in a “Chumpi”, a kind of woven blanket typical of the Huancavelica region.

As for the Three Kings, they will carry saddlebags containing food from the region, for example potatoes, quinoa, canihua or kiwicha. They will be accompanied by llamas carrying a Peruvian flag on their backs.

“The birth of the Savior will be announced by a child angel who will play the typical wind instrument called Wajrapuco,” further details the governor’s statement.

The cr̬che will also include santons from various Andean animals, such as alpacas, vicu̱as, sheep, viscaches Рa kind of rabbit Рflamingos and even Andean condors. Finally, we find a reduced reproduction of the Chopcca community, with its culture, traditions and ancestral tools used to plow the land.

Jesus saves all people, whatever their culture

The choice of such a nursery is no accident. The Vatican explains that it “aims to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the country’s independence, to reproduce a sample of the life of the peoples of the Andes and to symbolize the universal call to salvation”.

Jesus, the statement continues, “incarnated to save every man and woman on earth, regardless of the language, people, culture or nation to which they belong.”

On December 10, the day of the inauguration of the crèche, a delegation of Peruvian communities will be received in audience by Pope Francis for a presentation of gifts.

A 28-meter-high Christmas tree

During the traditional inauguration of the nativity scene, which will take place at 5:00 p.m., passers-by and faithful will also be able to delight in the illumination of the Christmas tree. This year it comes from the Dolomites region of Paganella, in Italian Trentino. At a height of 28 meters (almost 92 feet), it will be placed next to the crib.

The Vatican City Governorate specifies that the tree decorations will have been made by a delegation from Trentino. It will be equipped with “low consumption LED lighting”, it is promised.


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