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Gozo's incredible live crib is back for its 11th edition & we can't wait to visit!
Ain’t no one ready to beat this Gozitan village’s crib game

Caroline Curmi

With the ferry berthing right on the outskirts of Ghajnsielem, it is impossible to omit the village from any Gozo trip. But with less than a month to go for Christmas, this quaint Gozitan village is yet again prepping to take centre stage for the islands’ festive celebrations.

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Every year, hordes of volunteers group together with the Ghajnsielem Local Council to put up what indisputably qualifies as the Maltese island’s biggest and most ambitious live crib. Spanning an area of over 20,000 square metres, the attention to detail in accurately recreating biblical and historical details for Betlehem f'Ghajnsielem is mind-blowing.

While the main attraction remains the grotto with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, the concept has evolved over the years and new additions are welcomed on a yearly basis. With a functioning bakery, a man-made river, a market selling fresh food, a wine tavern and stables hosting different animals, walking through the site is like taking a step back through two millenniums.

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If that is not enough to get your vibe rolling, there is also the Betlehem Inn where rooms can be rented, and on select days, there will even be a Roman Garrison patrolling the streets of the Gozitan Betlehem collecting taxes and information for the Emperor’s census. Yikes!

Speaking to one of the volunteers, she explains that Betlehem f’Ghajnsielem not only puts the country’s focus on the little village but also unites the entire community in the ultimate physical manifestation of Christmas spirit.

Open every day from Friday 13th December, Betlehem f’Ghajnsielem’s spectacular month-long run will culminate with a special cameo by the Three Wise Men on Sunday 6th January 2020. Over the years, their journey has kicked off in different points around the world such as the Vatican, Cologne, and more recently, from the real town of Betlehem in Palestine, and the tradition is set to continue this year. Once in Malta, they will make their way to Gozo where they will present baby Jesus with their gifts.

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Although open for a month, the crib will only be animated on certain days. Check out the schedule below to make sure you don't miss out on the event's best features!

27th November 2019


Caroline Curmi
Written by
Caroline Curmi
When she’s not having a quarter-life crisis, Caroline is either drawing in a café, frittering her salary on sushi or swearing at traffic in full-on Gozitan. There is also the occasional daytime drink somewhere in the equation. Or two. A creative must be allowed at least one vice.

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