Real camels walk through Brecon streets for living nativity

Three real camels took part in the nativity which started on the Uplands estate in Brecon Credit: James Bessant Davies

Real camels walked the streets of Brecon on Christmas Eve as they took part in a living nativity.

The pageant began on the Uplands estate on the edge of Brecon, where community preparations have been in progress for weeks.

Families and residents gathered for hot chocolate and took part in willow workshops and costume activities before the arrival of the characters of the Christmas story onto the Uplands Field.

Live sheep and a donkey were followed onto the estate by three camels, with families being able to spend time with the animals before they made their way into the town centre.

Members of the community dressed up to take part in the event Credit: James Bessant Davies

Rev Anna Bessant was behind the project, bringing community groups in the town together with the support of Brecon Town Council and local churches.

"The camels are a Christmas present for the children of The Uplands," Rev Bessant said.

"We wanted to tell the Christmas story in an open, fun way to bring people joy and laughter. The sight of real camels on your doorstep can’t help but bring a smile.

"People want to see the Christmas story painted big, and this Brecon Big Christmas certainly brings the traditional story to life in a sparkling way that everyone can take part in."

The camels make their way into the town centre Credit: James Bessant Davies

The event has also given out 1,000 gifts of chocolate with a Christmas story book to children who attended the celebration on the Uplands field.

Members of the public dressed to take part in the procession, with a wide range of costumes.

"It is a blend of ancient and modern," Rev Bessant said. "People are here as Kings, Queens, Princesses, Princes, politicians, celebrities and the rich and powerful.

"That’s what the story tells us - that the wise and powerful came to the Christmas stable. It’s the same with the shepherds.

Crowds gather in Brecon town centre for the living nativity Credit: James Bessant Davies

"As well as traditional shepherds we’re asking people to reflect those who are outcasts in society, and refugees, and those dispossessed.

"It’s a mix of celebration and remembering those who are struggling and outsiders this Christmas."

Helping to organise the celebrations, Rev Emma Franks from Kensington Baptist church, said: "It’s important to remember that the Christmas story takes place outside, in fields, on roads, in busy hotels, on pavements, in rough shelters, and not inside churches.

"It’s so exciting to be painting the story big with people across Brecon. We hope it will be memorable and bring joy this Christmas."

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