The Nativity scene set is an exhibition and depiction of the scene when Jesus was born and the wise men. This is done particularly in the month of Christmas, so that people may get to know about the real meaning behind Christmas. This is because most people do not know why Christmas is celebrated.
Nativity scene set is a depiction of all the characters present during the birth of Jesus, either clay model figures or real humans. The scene is also enacted on the stage as a part of Christmas celebration. There were many characters involved in the nativity scene like the shepherd, the angels, and many farm animals. The nativity scene is set according to the way it is told in the Gospels. The depiction of the nativity scene set follows different tradition around the globe.
The Origin of Nativity
The word ‘Nativity’ has been derived from the Latin linguistics. In Latin, it is pronounced as nasci and it means “to be born.” Later, it was modified in the French language as nativite and finally, it came into the English language as nativity.
Saint Francis of Assisi in Italy first introduced Nativity scene set. Saint Francis of Assisi is credited for bringing the nativity scenes. It was introduced among the people to spread awareness about the history of Christmas. Nativity scenes emphasized on the birth of Jesus and tell the story about the three wise men that followed the star to reach Mother Mary’s house. In the early years, nativity scene sets were made of model figures but later it got replaced by human figures.
Nativity scene set become much popular among the Catholics and it inspired them. In the late 19th Century, it was spread across the world and was depicted in different traditions and styles. Materials like paper and terracotta were being used for making the modeled figures. Nativity scenes got its artistic touch in Emilia, which located in Naples.
There two types of scene set through which the nativity is featured to the public. There are many components involved in the nativity scenes and many characters are also there. Because of different traditions and different cultures are followed around the world in the nativity scene set. Therefore, it is presented differently in countries and states. Some sets follow the Gospel of Luke and some Gospel of Matthew.
Types of Nativity Scene set
There are two ways by which the people represent the nativity scenes as described in the Gospel of Luke and Gospel of Matthews. Some present it like a life-like scene with human characters and animals whereas, some present it as a picture with modeled characters. The model can be of plastic or clay or terracotta or paper and various other materials. The representation can be broadly divided into two categories
- Static nativity scene set
- Live nativity scene set
Static Nativity Scene set
These nativity scene set can be elevated outdoors and indoors. These depictions do not exactly follow the words of the Gospels and include the characters which were not there during the event. The characters can be made from paper or any desired material but it should show the scene of a stable.
Live Nativity Scene set
Real humans become the figures of the nativity scenes and real animals are also used. Every year, a small play on nativity scenes are played on the stages as a ritual during Christmas time. These live nativity scenes became popular and later even school plays adapted the nativity scenes.
The nativity scene set is a way to relive the moment when Jesus was born and tells the story about the wise men who came following the star to Mother Mary’s house. The nativity scenes set foot in Italy and with time, it spread around the world. It was only to spread awareness among the people and tell about the history of Christmas.