Local schools prove themselves in Nativity scene contest

Marco Carvalho

The Macau Cardinal Newman Center of Cultural and Performance Arts and the Macau Diocesan of Performance Arts and Culture Association organized, for the third year in a row, a contest where everyone had a chance to vote for the most beautiful Nativity scene set up by Macau’s Catholic schools. There was also a contest involving parish churches. Eleven educational institutions joined the competition. The contestants used different materials to recreate the narrative of the birth of Christ.

For a third year in a row, the Diocese of Macau invited the local faithful to elect the most beautiful of the Nativity scenes that were set up in more than a dozen of Catholic schools. Organized by the Cardinal Newman Center and the Macau Diocesan Association for Performing Arts, the competition attracted a total of eleven schools and colleges. The Nativity scenes were set up by teams consisting of groups of students and their support teachers. 

The vote on the most beautiful Nativity crib was carried out through a website specifically conceived for that purpose. Institutions such as Our Lady of Fátima Girls’ School, Saint Rose of Lima English Secondary School, St Joseph’s Diocesan School and Saint Maria Mazzarello School were among the contestants. 

The educational institutions that took part in the competition recreated the narrative of the birth of Christ using different types of materials. The online poll took place on December 17th. A spokeswoman for the Cardinal Newman Center told O CLARIM: “This was the third year this competition was organized. Interested parties could vote in the school they wished to support, via a website conceived with that purpose in mind, but they could only cast one vote. Duplicate votes were not counted,” Cecilia Cheong remarked.

In addition to ensuring that the Nativity scene continues to be part of Macau’s cultural and religious landscape, the initiative had the commendable quality of bringing students and teachers together, reinforcing ideals such as solidarity and companionship in the Catholic schools that joined the competition: “Eleven schools took part in this competition. People from all walks of life used the Internet and Facebook to vote for the mangers they built,” Mrs Cheong told O CLARIM. “As far as the Nativity cribs are concerned, they were built by teams that combined teachers, students or even school staff,” the spokesperson added.

Founded just over a year ago, the Cardinal Newman Center of Cultural and Performing Arts has ever since become a vibrant cultural hub, organizing concerts, exhibitions, workshops and other events. In 2022, the Center aims to maintain its commitment to culture and to strengthen its ties with the community. 

Cecilia Cheong told O CLARIM:  “We are going to organize a charity event in which we are going to sell some red couplets created by master Choi Chun Heng, a famous calligrapher from Macau. We also have, in mid-January, a series of workshops related to the Chinese New Year in which we will teach how to make a miniature model of a Chinese candy tray. We are also going to teach how to make a Zen-tangle treasure box to welcome the Year of the Tiger,” she concluded. 

For more details about the competition, please click on the following link: https://cccnmaccath.wixsite.com/cccnmanger2021