Skip to content


    When looking at an indoor nativity scene, the first thing we check out might be any appealing presentation and its figurines’ character; ultimately the overall design of the scene. Moreover, a key feature should be to find out any specific meaning hold by the single figurines.

    Eventually, each figurine of the nativity scene represents a symbol which over ages, inspired by the lifestyle of numerous communities has been assigned to those characters.

    Typical indoor nativity scenes include baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph, mostly along with ox and donkey, as well as any shepherds with domestic animals or bringing gifts, the glory angel and very importantly as of January 6th, the three Magi kings Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar.

    In this our blog set up in four chapters, we want to explore the figurines of the nativity scene; thus, walking us jointly through Christmas time: the first chapter regards the characters and symbols which the SHEPHERDS are representing in this Holy Night.


    The shepherds are among the first witnesses of the birth of Jesus. In fact, the presence of these nighttime vigilant livestock guardians, facilitated the latter to be guided towards the nativity crib; who better than these shepherds could witness such an essential historical event. While most people are asleep, the latter are the only ones able to keep the herd together by being vigilant protectors, thus at night as well. They are facing thieves and predator animals, determined to defend their herds from any attacks.

    Shepherds are considered humble persons who represent the average people; at the same being the purest in the soul. A soul ready to convey the news of the birth of the small baby who shall change the humanity.

    Their presence at the crib underlines the status of simple life, the actual condition by which Jesus was born: the shepherds own basics forms of life only, the herd is all they got and need; the latter feeds and supports them.

    Indoor nativity scene - demetz - shepherds - Val Gardena - wood


    Enchanted by angels’ announcing, the shepherds move to the crib to see the newborn child with their own eyes. In the overall picture, the latter figurines are placed anywhere among the nativity scene; nevertheless, all of them are turned to the manger; this, as if indicating any movement towards that direction. The curiosity and a deep desire to learn any truth takes them to the newborn Christ child. In fact, it can be said that the one of the shepherds was the first pilgrim’s journey in history and that they were the first pilgrims who, getting back to the herds, have changed interiorly the stunning experience into a concrete matter.

    Sonia Demetz, Aida indoor nativity scene - shepherds - handcrafted and hand painted - woodcarvings - Val Gardena


    The wood carving and painting of nativity figurines still leaves space for any imagination and distinct interpretations. A specific expression of a figurine, a soft touch of the paint brush or a different representation of any character may change the related symbolism; this considering any personal judgement as well. The Christmas nativity scene tradition is very fascinating because it summarizes the long stories of such holy night achieved through generations of sculptors, artists collectors and scholars.

    At her showroom, Sonia Demetz offers a variety of typical Val Gardena wooden nativity scenes, this among a selection of several art-styles. Moreover, if required, Sonia may handcraft any figurines according to any your own creative thought.

    WOULD YOU LIKE MORE INFO? Then please contact me here