The word Nativity originated from “natal “meaning birth. People of faith enjoy creating nativity scenes at Christmas. Nativity scene, also known as the manger scene, is the tradition in Christianity to recreate Jesus’s birth. The purpose of the whole scene is to recreate the scene and to explain how wise men and Shepherds visited Marry and Joseph. Christians all over the world use Nativity set to exhibit their happiness for the birth of Jesus. Naivety is considered as the most fortunate event in the history of Christianity. While some people use Nativity sets to celebrate the event, others perform live Nativity scene. So, real people participate in them. At some instances, animals have also been seen at the nativity scene.
Let’s have a look at both types of nativity scenes, i.e. live and static, along with the role of animals in these scenes.
Use of nativity sets in static scene:
The static nativity scene is often created with a nativity set, which is used to show the scene of the birth of Jesus. The nativity set may include baby Jesus in the manger, Joseph and Marry. Angels, shepherds and various animals are also used in the scene at times. Different types of Nativity sets are used to recreate the scene, but the ultimate message is the same for all. While most home nativity scenes are created only for Christmas, and people pack up the sets once the Christmas is over, however, in most of the Churches, it remains displayed until the Baptism of the Lord. Use of nativity sets is the most common practice to celebrate the event.
Live Nativity scene:
A nativity play is also a well-known practice in many cultures. This play got famous in both Catholic and Protestant Christmas events. Even the real people were observed playing the scene outside the church walls where human beings costumed as Marry and Joseph. Children used to play the role of the baby Jesus. However, it faced a backlash in many societies, and the sets were destroyed many times by the people labelling it as blasphemy. For instance, in the USA in 2008, 8 such scenes were destroyed by the people.
Animals in the Nativity scene:
Most of the time, OX and the ass appear in the Nativity scene. However, sometimes, other animals are also included in the scene. An ox represents patience while an ass symbolizes humility and readiness to serve. Some nativity scenes also include elephants and camels. The need for animal is for a manger in which the baby Jesus lies. By 1970s more nativity scenes have been done with the animals present than ever before.
You would never want to miss recreating the scene of the birth of Jesus. After all, he sacrificed his life due to the sins of the people in the love of them. Many people get the nativity set only on Christmas but use of nativity sets all over the year gives you the feeling of ultimate love towards Jesus. Having a wooden nativity set all the times makes it easy to remember Jesus and to get motivation out of his life.