TERZA DOMENICA HERITAGE SERIES - „Nativity Scene and other Italian Christmas Traditions" Christmas Breakfast Buffet and Presepio Unveiling - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15 AT 11:30 AM
On Sunday, December 15, as part of the Terza Domenica Heritage Series, we will be unveiling the Presepe (Nativity Scene) done in collaboration with Mr. Antonio Pignalosa, a Neapolitan Presepe artisan, who has more than 40 years experience in presepe preparation and staging.
The event will start at 11:30 am with a Christmas Breakfast Buffet. We will play the Christmas game "Tombola" and continue with the screening of Mr. Pignalosa's videos of the best presepi done during his career.
Nativity scenes are very popular in Italy and are generally found in every household. This tradition dates back to the 13th century and to St. Francis of Assisi.
The nativity scenes are associated with Naples, which turned them into an art form. The artisans who have carried on their craft from father to son have organized into a guild that protects their traditions. The centuries old custom of erecting a nativity scene has become the most meaningful Italian Christmas tradition.
The nativity scene that most Americans think of consists of about ten characters Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, the three wise men, a shepherd and a few animals. In Italy the nativity contains biblical characters, angels, animals and people from every day life. It is loved for combining the sacred and the profane, the spiritual and the daily life, prayer and irony.
Today, after a brief period during the sixties in which the Nativity scene was surpassed by the Christmas tree, the presepe is back, representing Italy and its tradition. In the afternoons leading up o Christmas, people often take an afternoon "passeggiata" (stroll) through the streets to see their local nativity scenes.
The nativity scene today is not only a religious symbol for the believers, but a universal way of representing a big family who reunites and enjoys together of the little things in life. Isn't this the best way to wish you a Merry Christmas?
Admission $15 ($10 for members) - Reservations recommended.
For info and reservations please call 718-442-1608
The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum is owned and administered by the Order Sons of Italy in America.
The Garibaldi-Meucci Museum was the home of Antonio Meucci, the true inventor of the telephone, and a refuge to Giuseppe Garibaldi, the legendary hero who championed the unification of Italy. For over 50 years the museum has fulfilled its mission to preserve the legacies of these great men, and to promote understanding of the Italian-American heritage through cultural, artistic and educational programs and classes.
Regular museum hours are 1 p.m.-5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday. Admission is $5 per person, members and children under 10 are free. Call ahead for groups of 10 or more. The first floor of the museum is wheelchair accessible, but the restroom is on the second floor. At press time, program funding has been provided through the Order Sons of Italy in America; by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; the Office of the Staten Island Borough President, Richmond County Savings Foundation; Northfield Bank Foundation; The Staten Island Foundation; The Lois and Richard Nicotra Foundation and by grants allocated by New York State Senator Diane Savino and New York City Council members Vincent Ignizio and James Oddo.