Associação Refúgio da Freira says it will return in 2021. This year it expects the population to visit safely and help the parish.
This year there will be no big nativity scene in Curral das Freiras, a project of the Refúgio da Freira Association that has been a point of attraction in this town for Christmas for a decade and a half. The group was going to hold the 16th edition, made impossible due to the pandemic. In order to avoid gatherings, the covered car park in the center of the parish will keep only with cars and to commemorate Christmas, the community has set up a nativity scene on a smaller scale outside, inviting us to visit.
Every year there were pilgrimages and excursions to visit the work of this group from Curral das Freiras, which was dedicated to representing in about 500 square meters the birth of Jesus and traditional activities. This year will be different, the crib in small size has 120 m2 and was set up in the center of the parish, outdoors. Next year they promise to return with the mega nativity scene.
Anacleto Camacho recalled that a large part of the usual visitors to the mega-crib were people over 50 and that they will stay at home, or at least they will not get together in the place as before.
But because it is Christmas, the group decided to make a smaller version to ensure that the people who used to make the crib continued the tradition and that whoever visits the Curral has something to see. On the other hand, they hope to help with this small initiative to boost the economy.
“We ask people to be careful and to pass by, to come and help,” invited Anacleto Camacho, recalling the traditional products that await, and the restaurants that need a push. “To see if together at the end of the year we can do something good for our land”.
This year, less than a dozen people were involved, in an initiative supported by the Junta de Freguesia and local businesses. The montage was supposed to have started on Monday 7th December, but the bad weather didn’t help, having been postponing the start until last Saturday.
Usually the Mega Presépio was built in November after the Festa da Castanha, in the covered parking lot, provided by the Câmara de Lobos City Council, but the creative work started months before. It opened punctually with the first delivery mass on December 15th. This year the nativity scene arrives earlier and more modest, but still taking a little more Christmas to Curral das Freiras.