It is said that St. Francis of Assisi gave birth to the tradition of the nativity scene.

In the past, in Sicily, almost all families used to make a nativity scene at home for Christmas. They then gathered around it and said the rosary. The Christmas tree and Santa Claus do not belong to Sicilian culture and tradition, for they have been adopted in Sicily in recent times.

The most beautiful nativity scenes are those in Caltagirone, a city in the province of Catania; but the living nativity scene of Sutera, a town in the province of Caltanissetta, is also worth mentioning.

These days in Enna, there is an exhibition of nativity scenes from all over Sicily. They are all beautiful, but if I were a member of the jury, I would award the first prize to the smallest one, for its originality. The artist made five nativity scenes using a coal-fired iron, a charcoal warmer, an oil lamp, a small wine barrel and even a water jug. After all, to be a true artist you do not need to create big, impressive things. You just have to be original!

Ettore Grillo author of these books:

– November 2: The Day of the Dead in Sicily

– A Hidden Sicilian History

– The Vibrations of Words

– Travels of the Mind


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