A nativity scene is a three-dimensional depiction of the Nativity of Jesus. It is also called a crib, manger or crèche. Typically, a large scale scene includes: the Holy Family, the angels, the Magi, the ox and the donkey, and an assortment of shepherds, villagers, servants and others.
There are two types of scenes: static representations of figures made of clay or other material and living scenes. Static scenes are often displayed on a table top in the home. In living scenes, humans and animals portray the characters in the scene.
St. Francis of Assisi is said to have created the first nativity scene in 1223 (a "living" one) near Greccio, Italy. It was a "hit". The scene's popularity inspired communities throughout Catholic countries to stage similar scenes.
In the modern world, nativity scenes have provoked controversy. Animals are said to be abused in living scenes and objections have been placed against static scenes displayed on public lands. In addition, outdoor scenes are often the target of vandals. Theft or destruction of outdoor figures is not uncommon.
- Thomas, George F.. Vitality of the Christian Tradition. Ayer Co. Publishing, 1944.
- Johnson, Kevin Orlin. Why Do Catholics Do That? Random House, Inc., 1994.
- Roman presepi
- The message of the child — Original Nativity scenes made with natural stones
- The Neapolitan Crib (Presepe)
- International crèche school - History of Nativities and instructions for building them Archived 2009-09-01 at the Wayback Machine
- Nativiti scene - Florece,FaQ - Video details Archived 2008-01-31 at the Wayback Machine