The one in Portovenere was perhaps the first in all of Italy, and this year celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, but the tradition of the Underwater Nativity is very much felt in the whole area.
In December 1968 the Spezia Sub club conceived the Christmas Eve immersion in the suggestive setting of the Byron cave in Portovenere, with some torches to illuminate the event of the child that rises from the waters in the arms of the divers. Since then, every year is repeated the event, even if transferred to Calata Doria and illuminated by the lights of boats that come to admire it.
For Christmas 2017, the underwater nativity of Portovenere begins at 11 pm of December 24 with hot chocolate and tea served to warm up the waiting for Santa and his reindeer, who will bring gifts to the children from the sea.
Subsequently, the divers will bring the baby Jesus, Joseph and Mary to the surface in a shell. A procession through the streets of Portovenere lit by candlelight, will bring the nativity to San Lorenzo to celebrate the midnight mass.
Even at the Morin Promenade in La Spezia since the early ’70s, the scubadiving hospital group brings out the baby from the water along the city’s dock
In town, the feast features spectacular effects of water games and light that attract so many fans to admire the event of Jesus emerging from the water on the night of the eve.
Unless surprises on the program, also this year on December 24, at 11 pm, some divers swim to the surface in procession supporting the torches, while others go down deep to collect the shell that protects baby Jesus lying on the seabed to make it emerge among the torches. Once afloat, the shell opens between the firing signals of the divers and the water jets of the fire brigade. Transported to the shore, it will then be carried in procession to the church of Santa Maria Assunta for half past midnight
Tellaro also claims a long tradition for its spectacular Underwater Nativity
For almost 40 years, in fact, the village near Lerici is prepared for days by placing thousands of wax candles along the carugi of the village and on the cliff that surrounds the town. On the night of the eve, the lights illuminate in an absolutely unique panorama the emergence of the child Jesus carried by the divers of the Tellaro Sailing Club and then carried through the village to the church for Christmas mass. The event is accompanied by fireworks that will illuminate the village, counted among the most beautiful in Italy, in a show of light and emotions.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)