International Celebration of Christmas – Live Nativity Play at Old World Huntington Beach


Spreading the message of Christmas with a play that recounts the birth of Jesus

Live nativity scenes are already quite beautiful to look at but to listen and experience a live nativity play just before Christmas is an absolute treat and conveys the essential meaning of Christmas better than anything.

With this in mind Old World in Huntington Beach will hold its traditional International Celebration of Christmas” on Sunday, December 18, 2016. This year will mark the 16th anniversary of this free event!

To celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, Old World is ushering in the holiday season with an intercultural and interdenominational reenactment of the First Nativity in the Old World Festival Hall. The event will feature a live nativity play, prayer, cultural dancing, Christmas carols and live music highlighting the traditions, songs and dances from around the world including Germany, Japan, Korea, Latin America , Samoa, Vietnam, Sweden and Kenya.

The Long Tradition of Nativity Scenes during Christmas Season

Nativity scenes are especially popular during Christmas season. Throughout Europe I remember seeing beautiful and elaborate manger scenes not only in churches but also at the many Christmas Markets.

At Christkindl markets throughout Germany you can not only indulge on ‘Glühwein’ (spiced wine), ‘Lebkuchen’ (gingerbread), stollen and the typical German fare, sauerkraut with brats, but you’ll also find many stands that sell beautifully hand carved wooden christmas-1875885_1920nativity scene figures. A special wood carved manger scene is often the treasured highlight of many homes during this festive season and people take great pride in their displays. I vividly remember my Grandmother making it a tradition to buy one addition to her crib every Christmas; so her display grew to quite an impressive one after so many years.

The tradition of Nativity Scenes in Europe goes far back to St. Francis of Assisi who in 1223 created the first nativity scene, which was in fact a live one. Soon after, nativity scenes became a popular tradition and the custom to display one during Christmas spread throughout Europe. Little by little figurines started replacing real people and animals. Up to this date a manger scene is as an integral part of Christmas.

Today, nativity scenes come in all sizes, from little nativity gourds made by artists throughout Latin America all the way to displays with life size figures and to actual live nativity scenes.

Old World’s Yearly Tradition to Host a Live Nativity Play

On December 18th, Old World Village is presenting its yearly live Nativity Play, a custom that had been started 16 years ago by Archbishop Jürgen Bless, who served the German congregation in Southern California. Ever since this event has become a tradition for the little “German Village” in Huntington Beach that is dedicated to preserving German heritage and sharing German and European culture with its neighboring communities.

The event in December celebrates Christmas and its traditions from all over the world. Come by and listen to the magical sound of Christmas carols performed by a hand bell choir, and experience highlights like the Latin American Tradition of “La Posada” or the Christmas customs of the Samoan Islands while the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ unfold in front of you with music and narration.

Let the Christmas spirit touch you!

Admission to the event is free, however all proceeds and donations will benefit the humanitarian organization World Vision. Doors open at 5:30pm.

International Celebration of Christmas
18. December 2016 at 6pm – Admission is Free
Doors open at 5:30pm

Old World Village – 7561 Center Avenue – Huntington Beach – CA 92647

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Images: creche by; all other images ©Old World Huntington Beach
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