Although this traditional Christmas representation is not included in the General Inventory of Cultural Heritage of the Andorra Government, it is worth dedicating a space to it at this point that talks of tradition.
On Christmas Eve 1916, Els Pastorets or The Advent of the Infant Jesus by the writer Josep Maria Folch i Torres premiered at the Pompeia Theater (Barcelona), which has now disappeared.
The success of the play meant that today it continues to be represented throughout Catalonia (Spain). It is a play created for a family audience in which two shepherds face the devil to save the baby Jesus with humour and cunning.
Although Christmas performances had already taken place before, with the inauguration of the Centre cultural i de congressos lauredià in 1993, this show was represented on the Claror Auditorium stage. It was a real phenomenon from day one. The whole town wanted to participate in some way in this performance that the public can see from December 26 to Epiphany Day.
In 2018, the 25th anniversary of Pastorets’ performances was celebrated.
The figures are a testament to the high participation of citizens in this play. It must be said that the weight of the performance falls on the amateurs who take care of all aspects, whether acting or coaching. Only the direction is professional and it is renewed every two years to bring new lines of plot and creative freshness to the work.
As we said, the figures collected until 2018 are overwhelming: Total number of collaborators: 2,383; total number of spectators: 31,932; 94 children have made played baby Jesus. Els Pastorets is a phenomenon that includes people of all ages and it is not uncommon for the same person to have played more than one role in their lifetime. It has proven to be a school of actors as it has brought out of its ranks, talents that have led to a professional career in the world of acting.
Els Pastorets also fulfils a dual social function. On the one hand, it helps to integrate people who have recently arrived in the city and, on the other hand, it helps many of these people in learning the Catalan language. We must remember that Andorra is the only country in the world where Catalan is the official language.