Kraków’s Christmas cribs make UNESCO list
The Nativity Scene (szopka) tradition in Kraków originated in the nineteenth century from Christmas celebration customs, centred around constructing cribs.
The tradition is connected to the City of Kraków and based on skills and knowledge passed down for generations. The szopka is a lightweight construction featuring the nativity scene surrounded by representations of houses and monuments of Kraków, hand-made by individual artists who have learnt their craft for generations.
On the first Thursday of every December, makers gather on the Main Square to present their work to the public, and the Historical Museum of the City of Kraków showcares their work from December to February. The practice has significant educational functions, passing on knowledge about the history of the city, its local architecture and customs.
On November 29th, 2018, at a meeting in Mauritius, UNESCO inscribed the nativity (szopka) tradition on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.