Tag Archives: creches

  • outdoor nativity scene with light in snow

    Decorating for Christmas When Your House Is an Empty (Or Almost Empty) Nest

    For many young families, decorating for Christmas is a time for creating traditions. Little ones help hang ornaments on the tree. The oldest child may have the honor of placing the angel or the star on the highest branch. Each person in the family may take a role in setting up the nativity set on

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  • donkey and ox next to Virgin Mary at nativity

    Were Animals in the Manger on the First Christmas?

    Most representations of Jesus’ birth show donkeys, cows, and sheep watching over the Holy Family and a camel or two arriving with the Three Kings. Artistic renderings may include animals that are native to the artist’s country. For example, an African artist might include a zebra or a giraffe at the manger scene. But what

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  • Santon figurines on shelf of store in France

    4 Amazing Nativity Set Traditions from Europe

    There is perhaps no more meaningful way to celebrate the birth of Christ than by displaying a crèche. Since St. Francis of Assisi staged the first nativity scene in 1223, the idea of the Christmas crèche has spread throughout the world. Since the crèche is both a representation of faith and an art form, many

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  • 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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  • 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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