One of the most characteristic events of the Christmas season in Custonaci is without a doubt the Living Crib of Custonaci, which for the past 30 years has been organized by a cultural association, simply called "Living Museum of Custonaci."
The celebration of the birth of Jesus through the Living Crib is staged in the Mangiapane Cave of Mount Cofano, but the Nativity of Custonaci is not only a manifestation of religious sentiment, but it is also an opportunity to rediscover the ancient professions of Sicily in the late 1800s, like the shepherds, craftsmen, farmers and artists going about their daily activities.
Every year, about 160 people who go to make up the Nativity, re-enact life in the rural village, which was actually inhabited until the Second World War. With great passion and devotion, these people, who are not professional actors, bearing the bitter cold of the Custonaci winter, basically depict their way of life, jealously guarding their traditions which would otherwise be lost. Thus, in the Crib, there are women working at the loom or busy washing clothes, while the farmers are bringing the olives to the mill and the fishermen are busy repairing their nets after a fishing trip.
The Living Crib in Custonaci draws several thousand visitors each year and is an event which even attracts the national press and in 2006 it was included in the intangible cultural heritage list of the Sicily Region.
One of the objectives of the Nativity of Custonaci is therefore to re-evoke memory, so that especially young people will be able to appreciate the ancient crafts of the past more and more. These crafts include:
- U Curdaru (the Rope maker);
- U Zabbarinaru (the working of the agave plants);
- U Mannari (milk processing);
- U Strincituri (olive grinding);
- U Firlizzaru (stool maker);
- U Sellaru (the tanner);
- U Puparo; (the maker of marionette puppets)
- U Pignataru. (Builder / repairer of pots)
25th-26th December and the 2 weekends after Christmas.
€ 10,00 per person
Children from 0 to 3 years free
Children from 4 to \0 years € 5,00