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  title of the page about the Christmas crib or Nativity scene  
         
 
Nativity scene

The Christmas crib is meant to represent the scene of the Nativity because tradition has it that Jesus was born in a stable.

The oldest Nativity scene known dates back to the second century and it can be seen in a fresco found in the catacombs of Saint Priscilla in Rome; it portrays the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus, the Three Wise Men and Saint Joseph, and a star with eight points above the scene.

In 1223 Saint Francis of Assisi decided to celebrate Christmas Mass in a small village where he had his monastery; he took a manger and filled it with hay, tied a real ass and ox near it, and with a crowd of people from all over the neighbouring countryside he celebrated the Mass in front of the crib.

With time, the figures were replaced first by statues in actual size; then by smaller ones; other figures were introduced as well: shepherds, angels, the Magi. This tradition was soon everywhere in Europe.

With the production of cradles in terracotta and other cheap materials, the Nativity scene became a popular tradition gradually extending to all social classes.

Would you like to build your own crib? Then go HERE!


 

 
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    All Texts and Illustrations © Dulce Rodrigues, 2017. All rights reserved