O, how the time flies! Something more than a month until Christmas and it seems as if it were yesterday when we decorated trees and rejoiced over the birth of Jesus. Christmas, the happiest day in the history of mankind, is already knocking on our doors, on our hearts.
A time when man forgets all his worries and troubles, when his sorrow is replaced with happiness, when he feels ready to make amends. Love blazes. So needed, so important. Before, today certainly is, and in the future will be in particular. In the Imotski region Christmas is always remembered as a time of silence, solemness and a family gathering. Friends are also welcomed. It is a holiday which can in no way be measured to the peace and satisfaction of one’s spirit. However, one place in this region has its own specific way to live and experience Christmas – Proložac. A picutresque old place, for centuries long have resisted the flurry of the bora wind coming from the jaws of Badnjevica, and it has always been proud of its symbol – an old bridge. And precisely beneath this bridge in a dried bed of the Suvaja river, that used to flood the fertile land of Imotski field, before an artificial lake Ričice was made there, this event takes place. For 15 years now people from Proložac express their devotion to Little Jesus by organizing live Christmas crèche (nativity scene) so presenting a unique bond of love between a human and Little Creator.
Professor becomes a shepherd and innkeeper, a locksmith and a farmer take the roles of the Three Holy Kings, pop-performer becomes Herod, small children and older elementary students replace their kindergarten playrooms and classrooms so they can transform into little shepherds and angels. And wait to see Mary, Joseph and Little Jesus! For fifteen years in a row young families from Proložac exchange for these roles. It is a special honour for a father, mother and their little son to play a role of the Holy Family.
Hard-working organisers make sure everything goes in order and by local regulations. Every year the Holy Family is set in the stable from different village of the Imotski region so that everyone could take their turn. And so, each year at 17 o’clock on the very Christmas day the bed of the Suvaja river comes to life. Hundreds, thousands of curious souls carefully listen the reading of the Bible in the open, in the silence of the night. People come from various places of the Imotski region, Makarska Riviera, Split, Dubrovnik, lowlands of Slavonia, but from abroad as well, where people from Imotski have set up their roots. Then with the annunciation of Mary and Joseph follows the angel’s annunciation of the birth of Jesus, continued by Joseph and Mary’s travelling to Bethlehem on a mythical donkey, accompanied by the shepherd’s fire on their way. Upon arrival at the stable comes the most joyful moment of all, the birth of Jesus. So, as one day some of the small children who played a role of Little Jesus would cry while watching a movie on this event remembering their small contribution to the whole memory, the same way many people would shed some tears too while watching this touching scene at the Suvaja riverbed. The Three Holy Kings, gifts for Little Jesus, a song of a large folk assembly, angles in white, who could even mention all the parts!
And, for the end of this wonderful story in the open – fireworks, to return back to the reality all the opened eyes with souls overwhelmed with emotions.
What to add, our dear Terracon News’ readers… Simply, once you bring to an end your Christmas lunch, make sure you kiss your family members, friends and acquaintances, and remember you still have time to drive yourself from anywhere in Dalmatia and visit Proložac to experience the sweetest Bible story, the birth of Jesus. Believe us, once you see and experience the charm of this, Proložc and its live crèche will be seeing you the following Christmas as well.