• Nativity scene exhibition in Europe

    Creche Traditions in Europe: A History

    The nativity scenes we know and recognize today have their roots in centuries of European traditions dating back to the 12th century. These early nativity scenes were usually made of terra cotta and were displayed year round in churches in the 1300s. Historians believe that around the year 1289, artist Arnolfo di Cambio carved one

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  • How Nativity Scene Traditions Developed in America

    American crèche traditions started in the 18th century with a small group of Protestant immigrants who brought their Christmas customs to their new homeland in the New World. The United Brethren from Herrnhut, commonly called the Moravians, was founded in Bohemia during the 15th century (in what is now the Czech Republic). On Christmas Eve

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  • Detail of colorful terra cotta nativity from Mexico

    How Nativity Scenes Reflect Local Cultures

    In a moving testimony to the power of faith and to the promise of Christmas, nativity scenes are a holiday tradition all over the world. While their basic elements – the Holy Family, animals, shepherds, and the Magi – are similar, their designs and materials vary dramatically. In fact, nativity sets can even be collectible pieces

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  • Nativity scene with Christ child in manger

    Traditions for Placing Jesus and the Magi in Nativities

    One of the most meaningful aspects of setting up a nativity scene inside or outside your home is the opportunity it offers for establishing traditions. Depending on where they grew up and how they were raised, many families have specific customs concerning the setup and the placement of their crèche. Some of these traditions surround

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  • Large outdoor nativity set home decoration

    Helpful Guide to Large Outdoor Christmas Decorations

    One of the best ways to spread the love and good cheer of Christmas with neighbors and other members of your community is by displaying large outdoor Christmas decorations. Large outdoor Christmas decorations not only show that you celebrate Christmas but that you want the world to celebrate with you. It is a gesture of

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  • Sarcophagus with adoration of magi

    The Art of the Nativity: Sculpture and Carvings

    “And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” – Luke 2:7 Since the early 4th century, artists have attempted to capture the wondrous night of Jesus’ birth. Prior to that time early Christians focused

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