The festive season is here and the City is brimming with Christmas energy. Decorations have been put up in most houses, malls and colleges. But no Christmas is complete without the crib. Available in all shapes and sizes, cribs try to recreate the scene of Christ’s birth in Bethlehem with a lot of fervour.
Churches, colleges, malls and many homes in the City generally have elaborate displays. These cribs carefully recreate the little towns, villages and rustic spots around the manger in Bethlehem, complete with colourful towns, people, animals and shrubbery. Some even take it to another level by creating cribs in different scenarios.
While some Bangaloreans make their own cribs, others buy readymade ones.
Gerald, a student, says that his family always keeps a crib in their house. “We buy many of the elements from the market and sometimes, we make the crib at home. We put the figurine of baby Jesus in the crib only on Christmas day to mark the birth of Christ. We also check out the various cribs in different churches and homes. So far, the best cribs that I have seen in the City are in Dharmaram College and in St Mary’s Church,” he adds.
The markets are already filled with figurines and ready-made cribs, which cost anywhere between Rs 500 and Rs 2,000. “It all depends on the materials used and the work that has gone into making them,” reasons Francis, a shopkeeper at Viveknagar.
Few others, like Anna, collects her figurines during her travels to different countries. “Whenever I travel, I always pick up decorations and figurines that one may not get here in the City. This way, the cribs will be different,” she adds.
Most Christian colleges too display cribs. Most of the time, the students make them by hand and some of them have intricate detailing — including a water pond in the middle of the crib or two hands holding the earth, where baby Jesus was born. Others say that they keep the crib as part of spreading the festive cheer.
Ebin Johnson from Christ University says that it has been a tradition to keep the crib in the college during the festive season. “Being a Christian institution, the crib is a big part of the season. We always keep one at the entrance and encourage students to celebrate the festive season together,” he adds.
Few colleges even organise crib-making competitions for their students.
Kiran Jeevan from St Joseph’s College of Arts and Science says, “These competitions allow the students to display their talent and know the significance behind keeping a crib. I have seen some very creative cribs in the City. There was one crib I saw, in which the figurines were made of soap. And I have always liked the one at St Mark’s Church as it is made by the children.” For Samantha, a student, the crib is an essential part of the festive season. She describes how the crib is generally placed at social gatherings. “Usually, we keep a crib at home. Each of us bring an element of the crib and put it together. It’s also a way of showcasing the real spirit of Christmas,” she sums up.