Living Nativity Scene
Whenever I visit my wife’s family in Barcelona, we always spend a couple of days in Vila-Sana, Catalonia with a group of friends and family in a large country house that can host all 17 of us. It’s in the nearby village of Linyola that they’re known for its living nativity scene.
Now, when I say scene, that’s a bit inaccurate. It’s more like an entire village from, well I guess around the BC/AD time, in which you’re totally immersed the people of the time. There are farmers, bread makers, craftsmen and woman, angels, devils, real farm animals, and of course the baby Jesus.
As you enter the nativity scene it’s a bit jarring the silence and the stillness of the actors who are posed, like a statue frozen in time. Occasionally you hear one of the many farm animals go BAAAA, oink oink, etc which is pretty funny. There’s also a few characters like e stone man who, though frozen in time, will slam down his axe to give kids a funny little scare…ok, he got me too.
The nativity scene takes about 20 minutes to walk through and honestly I feel like I didn’t get a chance to fully take it in. If I wasn’t with a large group I probably would’ve walked through twice.
The experience ends with some comedy too. In Catalonia there is a unique character in every nativity scene you simply don’t see elsewhere in the the world, the Caganer. Simply put, the Caganer is a man squatting down and taking a poop. His bare ass is showing and there’s even a pile of do below him, though his bare ass and poo were about the only part of the scene that weren’t real.
They take this character so seriously in Catalonia that as you exit the scene you’re confronted with the largest Caganer figurine in the world, 20ft tall with a plaque boasting its inclusion in the Guinness World Records.
Anyhow, I highly recommend the scene if you’re ever in Catalonia, you won’t be disappointed!