Vatican unveils Nativity scene, lights Christmas tree
The Vatican has unveiled the Nativity scene and lit the Christmas tree with energy-saving lights in St Peter’s Square.
The 85-foot-tall spruce tree comes from the forests of the Veneto region in northeast Italy and another 20 smaller trees have been donated by communities in the region’s province of Vicenza.
It is adorned with silver and gold balls and ‘next generation’ lights meant to have a reduced impact on the environment and use less energy.
The large Nativity scene in St Peter’s Square is made entirely out of wood and replicates traditional northern Trentino-style buildings.
Some 23 life-size wooden figures – all with handcarved heads – fill the scene, representing life in a small rural village in the northern Province of Trento in the early 1900s. There is a lumberjack pulling wood with a sled and people making cheese and washing clothes. Some of the faces reproduce the faces of real Italian shepherds from the region, including a man who recently died in an accident. Some of the clothes are real outfits handed down through the generations or once worn by local shepherds.
Picture: The Christmas tree sparkles after a lighting ceremony in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on 5th December 2019. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).