Christmas Cribs Lisbon
Lisbon at Christmas Time
The Portuguese nation's capital city, Lisbon sparkles just like any other first city in Europe with twinkling lights and all the other trappings of the Christmas holiday season.
Here in Lisbon however, the story of Christ's birth appears prominently on the streets, in churches and even in shopping malls, shining small and large in the shape of nativity scenes that started long ago with St Francis of Assis's visit to the holy land. Inspired by his stay in Bethlehem he created the first living Christmas Creche in 1223.
These Christmas manger make an appearance as:
- astounding art objects in the shape of 18 century exquisite cribs or Portuguese presépios to visit in a few of Lisbon's important churches this holiday season,
- to carved olive wood nativities brought from Bethlehem as seen in the image above, sold to support the Christians that live in this special town. Small hand made versions made with care & love can also be found to take home to add to the family Christmas collection.
- or collection pieces in solid silver destined to become family heirlooms and cherished for generations in the years to come.
- large modern 'film set' manger scenes examples appear in the street near churchs that intrestingly change as the Virgin Mary goes from highly pregant to proud new mother depending on the date.
- to oversized versions such as the one that completely takes over the main staircase in Lisbon's shopping mall for the rich & famous.
In Portugal, this good Catholic country, we are allowed to say "Happy Christmas" and not be tongue tied into the political correctness of 'happy holidays' as in the US & the UK. Lisbon is all the richer for it and while there maybe a smattering of Santas climing up the wrought iron verandas of the city, more Lisbon balconies proudly sport a baby Jesus flag flying from them.
Even the Portuguese Christmas cake, Bolo Rei seen in every pastry shop in the country at this time of the year is the King Cake that marks this holy season with a rememder of the Magi or the Three Wise Men that visited the Christ child to give gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.
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This post was written by:
Mary H Goudie Lisbon Bloggerista, Tour Crafter & Event Designer Extraordinaire. This Scot on Loan to Portugal loves to share her experiences of her adopted home port of Lovely Lisbon by the Sea - where Europe meets the Atlantic.