This year, the Parliament has recovered the nativity scene for the Christmas festivities, which is added to the decorated fir trees – with the Espinelves designation of origin label (Osona) – that welcome the entrance to the old arsenal , next to the carpeted staircase that leads to the main floor, to anyone who enters through the main door of the building.

Placing a representation of the birth of Jesus in the Catalan Chamber – in this case without a caganer, since it is an institutional nativity scene – contrary to what it may seem, it is a new tradition. It was launched by Laura Borràs, the former president of the institution, and there is no temporal continuity.

Last year, when the also president of Junts was suspended and the Parliament was experiencing an interim situation, the one who took the decisions was the first vice president, the republican Alba Vergés, who left the decision in the hands of the Bureau. The result was to place a Christmas tree without a nativity scene in order to respect the secularity of the institution.

Then the only representative of Junts in the governing body of the Chamber, Aurora Madaula, second secretary of the Bureau, supported the position of the rest, which was criticized by Borràs, by the former president of the Generalitat Quim Torra, a friend of the leader of Junts, and also for the Catalan Federation of Pessebrists, who expressed his discomfort. “We regret that Parliament does not support popular culture and the cultural heritage of our country”, they complained.

In addition to not putting a birth, it was considered more appropriate that the Christmas carol chosen to celebrate the holidays spoke of good wishes for the new year and not of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Just like the greeting card, which expressed the wish for 2023 to be prosperous.

The current president of the Parliament, Anna Erra, quietly decided that a nativity scene should be placed again – a decision much celebrated by nativity scenes – and she chose for this the Catalan Federation of Nativity Scenes, which was in charge of the assembly at the beginning of December and of transferring the figures. This year’s are the work of the craftsman Toni Pruna, and are made with molds from his teacher, Lluís Carratalà.

In 2021, Borràs had the same institution and the Pessebrists of Castellar del Vallès (Vallès Occidental), who every year prepare an exhibition in the Valais municipality that can be visited on these designated days. The figures from two years ago were also from Carratalà.

This year is special for nativity scenes; it commemorates the 800th anniversary of the Christian tradition, which in each country or region has its own particularities, such as whether or not to include the Kings of the Orient – they are mainly represented in Spain – or the figure of the caganer – Catalan heritage.

The origin of the nativity scene goes back to Christmas Eve in 1223, when Saint Francis of Assisi represented the birth of Jesus in a cave in Greccio (Italy), and in recent months there have been several commemorative activities of the ephemeris

The Nativity tradition in Catalonia has strong popular roots. In Barcelona, ​​there is evidence of the existence of an association of nativity scenes since 1862, which was refounded in 1921. The Ciutat Comtal is one of the 16 founding entities of the Catalan Federation of Pessebrists.

In the Palau de la Generalitat it has been a tradition to have a nativity scene since the 1980s. In fact, now there is a birth, a tree… and even a giant uncle who has joined Pere Aragonès.