Lignano Sabbiadoro
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17. The Sand Nativity: ‘Care, Hope and Love’

9 February 2021 / By Valentina

UPDATE: The Sand Nativity can be visited from 8th February 2021 - subject to changes due to updates in Covid regulations or on the color of the region.
Admissions from Monday to Friday from 2.00pm to 6.00pm.
Reservations on

Every year, we eagerly await the announcement of the theme of the next edition of the Sand Nativity of Lignano. And, once again, this year the theme chosen by the Dome Aghe Savalon d'Aur Association as the common thread for the majestic sand sculpture exhibition, open to the public in Lungomare Trieste at Christmastime, doesn’t disappoint.

Despite the hardships we’ve all faced during a year defined by a pandemic, the 2020 Sand Nativity of Lignano Sabbiadoro will light up our lives once again.

‘In the end, we decided we couldn’t do it. We just couldn’t give in to this terrible moment in time and extinguish the small light that is the Sand Nativity just when the world needs it most. Since 2004, it has lit up Christmas in Lignano (and Friuli) with the beauty of its narrative through sand, water and art, with its message of hope and—especially in the most recent editions—with its brave (and perhaps surprising) food for thought about the present.’

This is the consideration coming from the Dome Aghe Savalon d'Aur Association, which organizes the annual Nativity exhibition. 

Surely the way in which visitors will experience the large sand sculpture exhibition this year will be different than usual, from restricted entrances to virtual visits, quite probably including new ways of enjoying the show that make it possible to enjoy the beauty of the nativity scene remotely, compliant with COVID-19 regulations. 

‘In spite of everything, creating the Nativity this year is a powerful, difficult and much-pondered gesture, though not one that is reckless or careless as it originates from the courage to have HOPE and is supported by the urgent need for personal, social, and collective REBIRTH. The first syllable of the word ‘reborn’, the prefix ‘re-’, is made of just two letters that mean ‘again, starting over, one more time, without tiring.’ (Ermes Ronchi)

Creating the nativity scene is like bringing a star deep into your heart that, by shining, enlightens and guides you (like it did the Three Wise Men) along the dark road that we have slowly and blindly been travelling down these past few months. For that reason, those who are fascinated by the symbolic meaning of the nativity, by its beauty, or those who simply enjoy a bit of childhood nostalgia, can’t help but inhabit the land of hope evoked by the arrival of a Child who burst onto this Earth to make all things new through the potential of life that each new being embodies.’

The theme this year is ‘Care, Hope and Love’.

The visit begins with a sort of celebration of the most intense, moving moment of existence, the cry of a baby at birth, the first breath of life, the quintessential symbol of hope. This promise of life is regenerated by love and the new sense of solidarity that this terrible moment in time pushes us to seek out, since it has become even more dramatically evident how the life of humankind revolves around the principles of responsibility and ‘taking care’.

Only if we take care of one another can we save ourselves, understood as individuals, as a community, and as a species. Only if we take care of ourselves, can we build the present, thereby planning and protecting the future and life to come.

More information about the Sand Nativity, opening days/hours and how to visit it are available on the official website: