Christmas at the Vatican: two guests coming from far away

Every year, the Vatican receives two incredible gifts coming from abroad for Christmas. European dioceses, consortia, and other organizations take turns to pay tribute to the Holy See gigantic fir and a real-size Nativity scene — each of them coming from a different place and telling a story of its own. This tradition started 
The tradition of putting up a Christmas tree on St. Peter’s Square started in 1982 at the request of the Polish Pope, John Paul II. It is believed that fir Christmas tree, which is an evergreen plant, represents the resilience of life in fighting against harsh weather.

Christmas tree at the Vatican

St Peter's Square Christmas Tree - December 2021

Christmas 2021: Gifts from Italy and Perù

This year's Christmas setting at the Vatican will come from Chopcca (Perù) and it has been inaugurated on 10 December with the traditional lighting ceremony. The Nativity scene comes from Perù, Latin America, and it is composed of more than 30 statues, realized by five artists of Huancavelica. This Peruvian Nativity Scene wants to remind us about the independence of this country and recalls the typical clothes of people from the Andes.

The tree will be just as much majestic: 28 meter high, the red spruce comes from Andalo, in Trentino region of Italy.
Both Christmas tree and nativity have been inaugurated at the Vatican on 10 December and will remain in St. Peter’s Square until the feast of the Lord’s Baptism on 10 January.

Looking for a new Nativity scene for your household? Browse below our selection of hand-carved wooden and resin nativities from Italy. 

Nativity scene Vatican

St. Peter's Square Nativity Scene - December 2021

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Christmas in Rome and the Vatican