Saturday, December 3, 2011

o little town of... Forchheim?

Among the many holiday festivities and decorations I saw last year, I noticed there were quite a few nativity scenes on display. Nativity scenes, or Krippe in German, were all over the place in every style possible to display the birth of baby Jesus. The were living nativities, musical nativities, life-size nativities, interactive nativities, light-up nativities... the list goes on.  
But, as varied as all these sound, I did notice they all seemed to have one glaring similarity - a blatant disregard for historical accuracy

So, I've gathered a few pointers for anyone interested in creating a German nativity scene...
  1. Feel free to set the scene in any place you desire. Sure the story goes that it was in Bethlehem, but the details of the journey are pretty hazy - who's to say they didn't wander through Forchheim on their way! And don't even worry about the anachronistic problems of setting a story that happened in 1 A.D. set in a scene that didn't exist till more than a thousand years later. 
  2. make sure the scene, as a whole, lacks proportional continuity. Figures should not be appropriately sized to the setting. True greatness is achieved when figures aren't even proportionate to each other. 
  3. Mary should be the only character appropriately dressed for the original setting of Bethlehem. All other characters, including Joseph, should fit the setting chosen for the particular nativity. For best results, Joseph should look like he just finished herding his cattle in the mountains. (You are allowed one other figure not dressed appropriate to the setting, if, and only if he is a giant creeper on a horse with a cape and crown)
  4. Although not necessary, it's always good to have a group of people enjoying some beer somewhere in the scene. 
  5. The last and probably the most important point: pretty much nothing in the scene needs to have anything to do with the actual Christmas story. As long there is a pregnant Mary and a Joseph, it's officially a nativity scene.
For any further comments or inspiration for your own Krippe, please refer to this wonderful scene set in the truly biblical town of Forchheim. 

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