History of Nativity Scenes

History of Nativity Scenes

For people who prefer to emphasize the religious aspects of Christmas, there is no more recognizable concept than the Nativity Scenes . A display of the major figures from the birth of Christ, a modern scene can have anything from just the Holy Family, to up to another dozen or more figures including shepherds, wise men, animals, and angels. The entire setting is often portrayed in a replica stable of cave to create a complete tableau.

The first recorded nativity scene used living actors and was created by St. Francis of Assisi in 1223. Immediately praised by the church, it was wide spread within a hundred years. Living scenes were popular from the start and continue to appear to the modern day, though they occasionally come under criticism of animal usage.

Statues became more common however, and are the most common type of nativity scene up to today. They come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, from children’s figurines to tell a story to life sized, ornately constructed and painted figures to place in an outdoor setting.

Many of Christmas Central’s nativity designs come from the Fontanini collection. A collection well known for its superior designs in hand painted and sculpted statuary, this Italian product line should not be ignored if you are looking for a decoration of singular and visually striking appeal.

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