Portrait of Nativity. c. 1425-1430. Oil on wood. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon, France.
Nativity is the full account of the birth of Jesus. Augustus issued an edict ordering a census of the Empire. Everyone had to return to their home town. Joseph and Mary therefore returned to Bethlehem, native town of Joseph. There was no room at the inn and so the child was born in a stable (or cave). Jesus, wrapped in swaddling clothes, was placed in a manger, where he was greeted by the shepherds and then by "the wise men from the east".
The feast of Nativity was celebrated in the west on 25 December from the middle of the IV century and in Constantinople from 379.
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