Cuddled in a crib

TRADITIONAL DEPICTION

Cuddled in a crib

It is not just the streets of Bengaluru that are decked-up for Christmas. The houses in the City are also decorated to mark the celebrations of the season. A number of colourful cribs, that depict the day Jesus Christ was born, can also be seen in various churches and Christian households.  

Sandra, a resident of Frazer Town, has been keeping a crib at home for as long as she can remember. “The crib depicts the scenario of how Jesus was laid in a manger surrounded by cows, sheeps and shepherds. I place all of them in the crib including the three wise men who visited baby Jesus,” she says.

The crib that she has placed outside her house is a wooden trolly with two shelves. The top shelf has small statues of Jesus, Joseph and Mary, cows, the three wise men and camels. At the bottom shelf, she has placed candles and angels.

It is known that the birth of baby Jesus was foretold. The three men and shepherds visited the ‘Son of God’ after following the star that shone forth. So, a traditional crib follows certain customs, says Ashu Lobo Desai, who has been keeping a crib all her life.

“The tradition is fading away as I see many people placing China-made cribs that look fancy but are not actually traditional. It is also important to hang a star outside the house as it signifies the birth of Jesus. Everything is changing now and I just hope the tradition does not die out completely,” says Ashu.

She explains, in detail, the process of making a traditional crib. “Usually, ‘moong daal’ is grown in the crib to give it the natural look of a meadow. The crib should have Mary and Joseph, angels, shepherds, cows, camels and donkey. The three men play an important part and they are placed ten to twelve feet away from the hut.

Each day, we move the men one inch closer to the crib. Baby Jesus is placed in the crib only on the night of Christmas. And all of them, including the men, are placed very close to the baby the same night,” she says. Susan Rego has constructed a small crib outside her house on Lavelle Road and has been following this tradition ever since she was a child.

She says that traditional Christmas cribs are not fancy as Jesus was born in a stable and placed in a manger. So the cribs signify the simplicity of the day Jesus was born. Fancy cribs are sure an eye candy but it is modesty that describes the perfect traditional Christmas crib, she sums up.

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