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Where and how did this tradition come from? Well we’ll tell you; It is said that St. Francis of Assisi is who started this beautiful custom. At first it was done with live people representing Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, and shepherds in a kind of thatched cottage simulating a portal. It is believed that this was done about 1223.

Photo: cjaronu.com

In the beginning they were called “cribs” for Bethlehem. This custom is rooted in all Catholic countries . The births of living creatures were gradually replaced by those figures . They could be seen in churches at Christmas time . Little by little people were recreating it at home.

In Mexico, Nativity scenes are a tradition that you can’t miss at Christmas. Most of them don’t just include the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, and baby Jesus, but also the shepherds, along with the wise men, Archangel Gabriel, Archangel Michael, and several animals .

Photo: context from durango

There are houses that open their doors to the public to come see their Nativity scenes. Some can just occupy a corner of a room or the whole room. They are usually set up on the first “posada” (pre-Christmas celebration) that starts on December 16, and the baby Jesus is on display until December 24th, at Christmas.

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Written by Lizzy Santoyo. Translated by Jessica Garcia.