Time & Location
About the Event
The nativity scene or crèche, called in Italian the presepe or presepio, brings to life the story of the Nativity as told in the canonical as well as apocryphal gospels. The presepe (pl. presepi), which literally means “in front of the crib,” has been an important feature of Christmas celebrations in Italy for centuries. Appearing in churches, piazzas, and living rooms on December 8 (the Feast of the Immaculate Conception), presepi remain up until after January 6, or Epiphany, the feast associated with the visit of the Three Kings or Magi. While a presepe will always include figures of Mary, Joseph, and the infant Jesus, many nativity scenes surround the holy family with elaborate reenactments of traditional or contemporary life, complete with local buildings, streets, and pastimes. Presepi such as these are not just dioramas picturing a legendary event from ancient Palestine, but are mirrors of the known world.