"" Writer's Wanderings: The Christmas Creche

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Christmas Creche


St. Francis of Assisi (Italy) is credited with popularizing the Christmas creche, or crib as it's called in some countries, around 1223 after he visited Bethlehem and the place where it was thought that Christ was born. Originally, he created a play--like today's living nativities that are performed in many places.

The city of Naples became well-known for its production of cribs or creches and their crib making dates back to 1025. In the 16th century creches became more common in homes rather than just in churches and monasteries. A whole street in Naples, Via San Gregorio Armeno, is lined with shops that make and sell nativity scenes.
The mention of Christmas in Italy would not be complete without La Befana, the Italian children's version of Santa. Read my earlier post from a few years ago when I discovered the story of Le Befana.

2 comments:

Amrita said...

I didn 't know St Francis is given credit fo r th e creche. I thought it was a medivial invention. That 's why there are so many animals in it.

Karen said...

All the information I found pointed to St. Francis but perhaps he got the idea from something else he'd seen.

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