Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 01 March |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Giovanna Maria Bonomo
home iconTravel
line break icon

These living Nativity scenes will make you feel like you were at the first Christmas

LIVE NATIVITY SCENE

DARRAY | Shutterstock

V. M. Traverso - published on 12/20/18

Real people and real animals make these creches come alive.

The act of recreating the Nativity scene is one of the most beloved Christmas traditions around the world. But some communities take this a step further. From Poland to Italy and Spain, Catholic towns around the world spend months to prepare enchanting live Nativity scenes featuring real people and often real animals, too.

The first “live” Nativity scene is believed to have been created in 1233 by St. Francis of Assisi after returning from a trip to the Holy Land where he witnessed the real birthplace of Jesus. Francis realized that believers could better connect with the celebration of Christmas if exposed to the very setting where the joyful event occurred.

And indeed that same reason is what motivates communities the world over to engage with the practice some two thousand years later. As explained byMichelle Miller-Vandevort, a coordinator of the live Nativity at Wyatt Park Christian Church, Missouri, the process of recreating the moment when Jesus was born is an important source of social connection for people who may not otherwise spent time together outside rituals and church services.

Here is a gallery of some of the most striking live Nativity scenes from around the world.

Tags:
Christmas
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
2
MADONNA
V. M. Traverso
The 9 oldest images of Mary
3
Jacques Fesch
Brother Silas Henderson, SDS
Meet the Death Row prisoner who discovered a ...
4
SEARCHNG PURSE
Cerith Gardiner
12 Things every Catholic woman should have in her purse
5
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
6
CELEBRITY MARRIAGES
Cerith Gardiner
10 Celebrities whose marriages have stood the test of time
7
RECONSTRUCTED CHRIST
Lucandrea Massaro
This 3D “carbon copy” of Jesus was created using the ...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.