This tour went on from the 27th dicember to the 29th in Matera, the 2011 edition, was one of the live cribs most appreciated from Meridional Italy. In those days was right there with a group of tourists that had been given the opportunity to enter and make part of a living crib, as though it were some sort of magic. Highly appreciated was the way this great human heritage was presented , in a most incredible way regrouping and putting together the urban part of Matera.
A few minutes after the opening of the 27th december, the live crib was magically animated, most of us felt catapulted back in the 21st century in Palastine amongst soldiers of the Roman Empire. At the entrance soldiers, wearing a mantle, spear and helmet will allow us to enter in the area were the crib was sited, a portion of “Sasso Caveoso.”
More than 2000 years ago, it was herald the king that reigned, now there he is a few meters from the entrance of the crib, egocentric and arrogant, ordering the out comers to continue along the path that led us to find our Baby Jesus.
The route which led us around the crib made us come across a lot of handmade workers in costumes, that before the crib scenery is exhibited, the visitors could see the traditional folklore of this locality: the city of Matera.
Alot were the animals used in the nativity: mules, cattle and different horses, that contributed in giving a more realistic appearance. A lot of importance was given in the area for food and wine tasting in the most typical and traditional products of Matera. In which typical local bread and oil are toasted on a fire.
Amongst these figures and hand made products , we finally arrive to “the” cave(the Nativity).where not only was there a real “Madonna” and her groom, in between a real ox and a real donkey, but there rested a “real” new born. Adding a couple of snow flakes made this experience among the rocky Matera just unique, although this was not part of the palestine historic reality.
Inevitably more time was dedicated the day after to visiting the “SassoCaveoso and Sasso Barisano”, the cathedral and the different urban like churches, amongst these an old farm house that spurts out of a cave. In which a long time ago, farmers and animals like oxes and hens, lived together, the “ox” , being the most loved animal by the Matera population, so much that the population inserted this animal in the cavalry standard together with a latin Motto: "Bos lassus firmius figit pedem", “the tired Ox, settles a matter for good”. The Ox, metaphor in the farmers life, pictures the Matera population, which although submitted historically under many dominations, always found the courage and strenght to react against them, both in ancient times and in the 2nd world war. gaining for a right, the silver medal of military value, reaching the right of redemption with the title of “UNESCO” given for universal interest and humanitarian heritage to the city of Matera. The two days stay in Matera symbolised a very spacial stay for the different families present, that discovered this unique place in the world just a few days before christmas, by going back in time and returning to Palestine in more than 200 years ago.
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