Ever since the first Nativity scene created by St. Francis of Assisi, cultures around the world have put their own spin on the popular Christmas tradition. Nevertheless, throughout these traditions there are common elements that represent different parts of the Nativity story.
Each is selected for a specific purpose and many of them have a profound spiritual meaning behind them.
How St. Francis invented the first Nativity scene
Exclusive Photos: The unveiling of the Vatican Nativity scene