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About the Friends of the Crib - Malta

The Friends of the Crib - Malta, known locally as the GHAQDA HBIEB TAL-PRESEPJU-Malta, was founded in 1986 with a simple yet demanding role: to stop the decline of the Crib and regenerate the tradition of having a Crib at home for Christmas.

During the post war years, after 400 years of popularity as the main Christmas attraction in Malta, the 'presepju' started its decline making way for new customs and decorations like the Christmas Tree and Santa Claus who arrived with new gifts every year.  These modern customs commercialised Christmas and moved the Crib to the periphery of the celebrations.

On the 7th October, 1986, the Ghaqda Hbieb tal-Presepju - Malta was born and during its first General Meeting declared its Mission Statement.  The first Statute was outlined and a program of activities was drafted.  Meetings about the history and importance of the Crib, held for members and friends, attracted more participation. Slowly, but surely, the tradition of having a Crib at home for Christmas found fertile land and flourished once again.  Lectures became practical courses where members learned the use of various materials and techniques for constructing their own 'presepju'. 

Today, the Friends of the Crib - Malta is made up of male and female members, with ages varying between eight and eighty years.  With nearly 500 members on its books, it is the largest organization in the Maltese Crib scene.  It is also registered as a formal non-Government Organization.  Its contribution towards the Crib culture and tradition is appreciated both locally and abroad.

Through the use of its website, www.presepjumalta.org, backed by an active Public Relations office, the Ghaqda Hbieb tal-Presepju - Malta has built a contacts database which is constantly being used to exchange and bring together news and ideas about Crib cultures in Europe and beyond.

The Malta Convention for European Friends of the Crib in 2018 is intended to bring these cultures together encouraging them to uphold the message delivered by the Angels on the first Christmas Eve:  "et in Terra Pax Hominibus Bona Voluntate."  May this message be understood by all who are looking for Friendship in Diversity.

                

Mission Statement

The Friends of the Crib - Malta has been set up with a mission!  The following points may be considered as the Association's Mission Statement.

     To regenerate the tradition of having a Crib in Maltese homes at Christmas.
      To bring together local Crib enthusiasts, leading them to form one large family around
                the Manger.
      To encourage Maltese writer, artists and artisans to feature the real Christmas and the
                presepju in their works and to support them when they do so.
      To hold lectures about the history of the Christmas Crib and organize practical courses
                 about Crib construction for Association members and the general public.
      To set up a permanent Crib Exhibition/Museum where works by past enthusiasts and
                artisans may be brought together and enjoyed by the public all the year round.
      To create and cultivate contacts with Friends of the Crib in other countries in order to
                exchange information about various traditions, thus enriching the common culture about
                the Christmas Crib, its origins and its message.


MALTA CONVENTION FOR EUROPEAN FRIENDS OF THE CRIB
7th to 11th November, 2018
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