This nativity scene was the first thing that I saw in Valletta after getting off the bus, and I’m rather used to the Christmas period being cold and wet, so the sunny weather initially made it feel just a little out of place to me. However, it’s a wonderful Maltese tradition and in the scene there is a traditional fishing boat, the Luzzu, representing the country’s fishing history. There are 17 figures in Maltese national dress and also a Girna to the left, which is an early farmer’s dwelling.
The whole thing is made of fibreglass to prevent it weathering and it was displayed at St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican in 2016, where Pope Francis prayed in front of it on 31 December 2016. It’s designed by Manwel Grech, a Maltese artist, and this was the first foreign made crib to have be exhibited at St. Peter’s Square.