Christmas Tree, SantaPark, Rovaniemi 2005
The Christmas tree and the Nativity scene , stories of ancient traditions in the area of Fabriano .
It is often thought that these two traditions are not related to the history of our country , but in reality it is not so . The most ancient tradition practiced in a part of our territory, in spite of what he believes the majority of the people, is not the nativity scene but the Christmas tree . Many at Fabriano were able to visit the archaeological exhibition on ” Picenes and the Celts ” at the Civic Art Gallery ” Bruno Molajoli .” It must be remembered that the ancient priests of the Celts had venerate the firs in this winter period, it had considering symbol of long life, because were always green . Most likely in pre-Roman times , the Celts who lived in our area, in this winter, had celebrated their rites around a tree . Later it was also adopted by the Christian world as a symbol to celebrate Christmas . In particular, there is a legend that talks about how in Germany San Bonifacio (Bonifacio bishop , 680-755 ) , walking in the midst of the campaign saw a bit ‘of people gathered around an oak tree , he took an ax and he cut down the tree, in its place arose a pine. This new pine represented the tree of life , and his appearance symbolized the birth of Baby Jesus. After Christmas trees were also decorated . One of the earliest writings that speak of decorations, is the one written in 1605 by a German traveler , who had gone to Strasbourg, he wrote that in this small town was preparing the Christmas tree decorated with paper , fruits and sweets . Following this tradition spread throughout Europe and then is arrived in the United States and in the world . Instead , the nativity scene as everyone knows , was invented by St. Francis of Assisi. The first living representation of the nativity was made ​​by the Holy Greccio , a municipality in the province of Rieti, Lazio (Italy). The Saint had strong ties with Fabriano , there are several scholars who attest to that. In particular I want to mention a great scholar of this subject, Don Giacinto Pagnani in his book ” The travels of St. Francis Marche ” he speaks of the presence of the Holy Fabriano deducing from different sources , such as fragments of the Chronicles of Blessed Francis Venimbeni . He also writes of Fr Raniero , rector of the Church of St. Maria Civita , he had become a friend and confessor of St. Francis of Assisi. The book also talks about the plaque on the tomb of Fr Raniero . On it was written the following: ” hic- sunt BONES Venerabilis FRATRIS RAINERII : HERE FUIT Confessor PATRIS WHICH OUR SANCTI FRANCISCI PRAEDIXIT QUOD DEBEARAT effici FRATER MINOR .” The plaque was placed in the sanctuary of the new church was built by the Franciscans in Val Povera. The nativity scene is initially spread in places duty was strong devotion to St. Francis. Fabriano was one of these , we can say that after living representation of the Nativity , which was made ​​by the Holy Greccio , if they did in other cities , probably between them was ours. The first nativity scene carved, according to historians, was built by Arnolfo di Lapo ( Colle di Val d’Elsa 1240-1310 ), the great urban planner , architect and sculptor . I realized towards the end of 1200, not all the statues have been preserved to the present day , the remaining ones are located in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome ( in the Liberian Museum ) . Between 1400 and 1500 spread the tradition of placing large statues of the nativity scene in the churches . One of these , which is very old , the nativity scene is the monumental Basilica of Santo Stefano in Bologna. After this tradition spread not only in Europe , but worldwide .

Paolo Carnevali ( article published in L’ Action January 5, 2013 )
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