Nativity Sets & Scenes from Italy
The birth of Jesus Christ is definitely the most important event for the western world. The depiction of Christ's birthplace has always fascinated people. That's why nativity sets and nativity scenes have uncountable enthusiasts in many countries around the world. English speakers say nativity scene (or crib), the French say manger or creche, the Italians say presepe, the Germans say Krippe and the Spanish say pesebre. Different words but all with the same meaning. At Christmas time it is custom to arrange nativity sets in Protestant and Catholic homes, churches, parks and cities.
Nativity Scenes are made in various designs and materials. The most popular material is wood. A wooden nativity set usually consists of Jesus in a manger, Joseph and Mary (Nativity family). The family is placed in a barn, a stable or cave. The nativity family is accompanied by a donkey and/or an ox. In addition to that there are many other wooden figurines that can be added to a nativity scene.
The most popular ones are the Three Wise Men (Magi - King Balthasar, King Melchior and King Caspar), camels or lamas, shepherds and herdsmen, sheeps, angels, the star of Bethlehem, elephants, gees, pigs, roosters, goats.
In many countries skilled artisans have been crafting nativity scenes. The German nativity sets from Oberammergau, Bavaria and the Italian figurines made in South Tyrol belong to the most popular in the world.