A Crèche Comes Alive in Southeast Sicily

December 22, 2010

I walked out the door two nights ago and stumbled into candles and donkeys and music and straw. Jugs of wine and a vat of fresh ricotta. Why am I always the last one to know what’s happening in my village? It was a presepe vivente, a crèche come to life. Every village seems to have its own, starring locals as shepherds, washer women, and musicians. There’s another one here the day after Christmas, starring Jesus, Maria and Giuseppe.

Living Nativity Scene in Sicily, copyright Jann Huizenga

Sicilian Singers at a Living Nativity Scene, copyright Jann Huizenga


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Buon Natale!


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8 comments to A Crèche Comes Alive in Southeast Sicily

  • emalene

    Oh Jann thanks so much for the blog. It made me so nostagic for Ragusa. I remember those special nights in the piazza. While I’m preparing for Christmas with my family I’m missing Ragusa. I look forward to your posts.
    We celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Bainbridge Island Washington on Chrstmas Eve with our family but it would be wonderful to spend Christmas in Ragusa. Frank and I wish you a happy and joyfulChristmas.
    Love the music. We saw Franciscan Monks and nuns dancing and singing the the piazza when we were there

  • The last time I saw a living creche, I think I was participating in it in Sunday school…it’s been that long! You lucky girl, you! I want to live in your village!

  • Carole DeSimone

    Grazie for sharing. Buon Natale anche a te e felice Anno Nuovo!

  • Jann, with each of your holiday posts, I become more wistful to witness genuine celebrations steeped in cherished traditions, rather than vapid obligatory consumerism. Am I romanticizing what you are experiencing, or is there authenticity there, and true rejoicing in the season?

    • Jann

      Well, Aysha, to me this feels very low-key, authentic, calm. We’re happy to have escaped the frenzy & consumerism of the season in the US…

  • But stumbling across it makes it even more enchanting! The music video is delightful.

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