Andorra’s Nativity Scenes and New Year’s Celebrations
It seems to me that Europe can be divided between the Christmas tree countries and those that favour the pessebre, or nativity scene. Until recently Andorra was very much a nativity scene homeland though today Christmas trees are being welcomed too. That said, when I first came here over 30 years ago, part of the local foc i lloc, or ‘fire and hearth’ tax, included the right to cut down one tree from an allocated piece of communal forest, though whether the tree was supposed to become a Christmas tree or a traditional Tió Christmas log, I’m not sure.
What I remember most was going into La Massana Church on my first Christmas Eve in Andorra to rehearse for the English Nine Lessons and Carols, and discovering this amazing nativity scene. Laid out on a base of plywood maybe 2.5 m square, was a whole miniature hillside. Moss formed the covering for the rolling hills and across it from all directions came miniature figures. The Three K..