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    The tradition of creating nativity scenes in Kraków has been awarded a place on the Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists

    On November 29th, during their annual meeting in Port Louis, Mauritius UNESCO Committee decided to register the tradition of creating nativity scenes in Kraków on to Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It is Poland’s first intangible cultural heritage practice.

    The tradition of constructing Christmas ‘szopki,’ or nativity scenes, in Kraków dates back to the 19th century. This unique and beautiful custom is inseparable with the history of the city. Ever since 1946, the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków has been in charge of organizing the contest. The goal of the competition has always been the preservation of the tradition of nativity scene making. Hundreds of craftsmen have entered the contest throughout its history. The tradition of creating nativity scenes for the competition developed in many families; it has been handed down from generation to generation, and is still very much alive today.
    The nativity scene presents the biblical scene of the birth of Christ, encompassed by the most recognizable landmarks of the city. The figures are often mobile moved by mechanisms with illumination.
     

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