The Vatican Nativity scene 2021 will include llamas and superfood for Baby Jesus

Alejandro Bermudez By Alejandro Bermudez for CNA

A screenshot of a 3D rendering of a Peruvian Nativity scene that will be featured at the Vatican during the 2021 Christmas season. / ACI Prensa

Denver Newsroom, Sep 19, 2021 / 03:00 am (CNA).

Last year, the Vatican nativity set came, for some, from outer space; in 2021 it is coming from the Andes.

The 2021 manger that will be placed in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican to celebrate Christmas will arrive from the town of Chopcca, Peru, a small town nestled in the Andes over 12,000 feet high.

“As of December 15 and for 45 days, more than 100 million tourists and followers of the media will be attentive to the Christmas celebrations in the Holy See that will revolve around the Andean manger,” indicates a note from the Andina news agency, the official media outlet for Peru.

Last year’s nativity scene, a set of 54 figures dating to the 1960s and 1970s, was panned by many on social media. One detractor described it as “some car parts, kid toys, and an astronaut.”

The Vatican has not announced the details yet, but the local news agency released a video with a 3-D rendering of the nativity scene. You can a video from ACI Prensa (in Spanish) about the 3D rendering below:

Chopcca’s nativity scene will have more than 30 pieces and will be made by five renowned Huancavelica artists. Huancavelica is located nearly halfway between Lima and Cusco.

The images of the Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph, the Child Jesus, the Magi and the shepherds will be made on a realistic scale with materials such as ceramics, maguey wood and fiberglass, and will wear the typical Chopcca clothing.

The Child Jesus will be represented by a “Hilipuska” child, wrapped in a “chumpi” or woven belt and covered with a typical Huancavelica blanket.

The Three Wise Men, or Magi, will carry saddlebags or woven sacks from the region with popular superfoods, such as quinoa, kiwicha, cañihua, and potatoes, they will be accompanied by llamas that will have the Peruvian flag on their backs.

Several other local Peruvian animals such as alpacas, vicuñas (a more beautiful relative of the llama), sheep, vizcachas (related to rabbits with squirrel-like features), parihuanas or Andean flamingos, and the condor will also be present.

The Regional Government of Huancavelica will present the manger to Pope Francis in gratitude for having chosen Peru in the year in which it celebrates the bicentennial of its independence.

If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.

About Catholic News Agency 10831 Articles
Catholic News Agency (


  1. This Peruvian nativity scene offends less than 2020’s futuristic space odyssey. Its bright colors and more realistic persons please the aesthetic sense more readily. HOWEVER, the traditional creche with middle-eastern historic time/place depictions of shepherds, sheep, wise men from the East, and an angel of God are not present at the Peruvian nativity scene.

    There were certainly no llamas in Palestine in 0 AD. The newborn was wrapped in swaddling, not in a chumpi. The Peruvian flag surely did not cover the backs of the camels travelling with the wise men.

    To re-create a nativity scene so it becomes something other than even the creche St. Francis designed? Herexy. Proving only that this Vatican has no problem promulgating alternative versions of reality, tradition, and history.

    What’s next? Revision of the Bible??

    • And how does the traditional nativity violate your modern ‘exegesis’ in that it explicitly denies Christ came for all especially with the angelic proclamation with ‘peace and goodwill towards all men’?

      • You obviously are not interested in reading or care to apply the slightest thought and consideration to his post. You’re just using it as an opportunity to V.S.

  2. I understand the need for Catholic events to be Catholic – universal – because this is what the Church really is. However, certain historical events like the birth of our Lord and his Crucifixion, should not have the facts politicized.
    I prefer the old Nativity scene which beautifully tells the story of the first Christmas. Yes, the three Kings or wise men did not come till later, but they are an intimate part of the gospel stories.
    Christmas and the Crucifixion are solely about Jesus. Let us keep it that way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.