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A Nativity Scene

The Nativity refers to the birth of Jesus Christ.

According to the Bible Jesus was born in the city of Bethlehem in a barn, surrounded by farm animals and shepherds. The baby Jesus was born into a manger from the Virgin Mary assisted by her husband Joseph. The odd location of the birth was the result of the refusal of a nearby inn to accomodate the expecting couple. Three wise men were also said to have visited the event, bearing gifts.

Remembering or re-creating the Nativity is one of the central ways Christians celebrate Christmas. In Christian churches children will often perfom plays re-creating the events of the Nativity, or sing some of the numerous Christmas carols that reference the event. Many Christians will also display a small re-creation of the Nativity known as a Nativity scene in their homes, using wooden figurines to portray the key characters of the event.

Though Jesus's birth is celebrated on December 25, most scholars agree that it is unlikely he was actually born on this date.

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