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Mon Dec 25, 2017, 08:44 AM

FSogol's Advent Calendar Day 25: Merry Christmas and the Origin of the Nativity Play

Merry Christmas DU. Hope your day is filled with Peace, solitude, and friendship.

Now for the final installment, the origin of the nativity play. Born in the '60s, my parents drug us to Sunday School where we colored pictures of bible scenes and learned bible stories. At Christmas time we were forced to memorize a few lines and put on a Christmas play. Like Shermy, I was always a Shepard, never destined for a bigger part. If I had been born earlier, it might have been a public school forcing me to participate in this play. Where did it start?

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus. The word nativity comes from the latin word 'natal' which means birth (and is also where we get the word 'native' from).

St. Francis of Assisi and his followers acted in the first play in 1223 to remind the local population that Jesus was born for them, as he was born into a poor family like theirs and not to a rich family.

St. Francis told the part of each character in the story himself using wooden figures in the play. After a couple of years, the play had become so popular that real people played the parts of the characters in the story. Songs were sung by the people taking part and they became what we call Christmas carols today.

In some countries such as Italy and Malta, and many South American countries, the crib (the manager baby Jesus was placed in) is the most important Christmas decoration. The city of Naples, in Italy, has used cribs to decorate houses and Churches since the 1020s That's even before St. Francis of Assisi put on his play. Naples is also the home to the world's largest nativity crib scene. It's in the 'Museo Nazionale di S. Martino' and has 162 people, 80 animals, angels, and about 450 other smaller objects.


National Museum of San Martino in Naples

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Reply FSogol's Advent Calendar Day 25: Merry Christmas and the Origin of the Nativity Play (Original post)
FSogol Dec 2017 OP
TexasProgresive Dec 2017 #1

Response to FSogol (Original post)

Mon Dec 25, 2017, 08:55 AM

1. Love that Francis as well as the pope that took his name.

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