A rather wonderful Christmas tradition

Unfortunately we are going to miss the presépios this year as we are in England for Christmas, and return to Portugal a few days after twelfth night. So if you are there this Christmas please take a few extra photographs for me!

The very first crib is believed to have been created in Italy in the mid 13th century , and over the following centuries the concept spread across Europe. In England they seem to be limited to churches these days, but in Portugal you will find many of them in the fire stations such as this one in Faro as well as libraries and halls. Most families will also have a small one in their homes.

In the fire station

What I love about them is that as well as the Nativity they depict scenes from every day life. A life that would have been typical of many countries 2000 years ago, but disappeared in England in the last century. You will still though find people living this simpler and more sustainable life in parts of the Algarve and Alentejo.

My favourite presépio is the extraordinary Presépio Gigante in Vila Real de Santo António, but they are all very special so if you see a sign for presépio follow it!



Author: BeckyB

It had been a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, blogging, and best of all spending time with MrB, family, & friends. Sadly it no longer is. Suddenly and unexpectedly I have become a widow.

13 thoughts

    1. I know!!! Apparently not however, they only start about a month or so before on the largest one so these medium-sized ones must only take a week or so. Incredible.

  1. Lovely memories! My favourite was the snowy one at Castro Marim, and from the looks of things we’ll have the real thing this Christmas 🙁

    1. 🙂 hopefully we will both be there next Christmas, away from all the cloudy skies and snow here!

      Keeping my fingers crossed it doesn’t snow in Hampshire. Have you got it already?

        1. Hope your journey is ok tomorrow, and will ask Rudolph to delay the snow for you or should we be asking Paddington this year?!!

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