Things to know

Crib species:

Alpine cribs: This type of crib was created around 1900 under the influence of crib farmers from Tyrol. Features of this crib are local landscapes with lovely buildings, familiar motifs from Tyrol. A stable, mostly dilapidated, built of wood in rural surroundings. In addition, there are materials such as bark or sticks that adorn the picture. The figures are also adapted to the region.

Classic cribs: The crib figures of the classic crib are very refined and even the smallest body parts, such as feet and hands are enriched with many details. The high quality of the figures and the discreet painting impress every viewer. In addition, the selection of crib animals and the number of crib stables is remarkably high.

Baroque crib: Characteristic of the baroque crib figures are the extremely many details and the delicate colors of the figures. The crib figures of the baroque crib can be combined particularly playfully, which attracts crib collectors remarkably.

Oriental crib: The crib in oriental style is also widely used. Walls, towers, dilapidated palaces, a desert with dunes in the background give the crib builder great freedom in designing the crib. It agrees with those viewers who think that Jesus was born in an oriental environment anyway and not on a mountain pasture in Tyrol.

Modern cribs: Modern cribs are characterized by their flowing form and timeless style. They are becoming more and more popular.

Modern Art crib: The crib figures of the Modern Art are not painted, the owner should have the possibility to clearly recognize the light color and the special wood grain of the ash wood.


The Child Jesus: The main character of the nativity scene is the Child Jesus. He was born in a straw-lined crib in a stable. The infant symbolizes God. His name Jesus has a special meaning, because all translations, whether from Latin, ancient Greek or Hebrew, lead to the statement "God, the Lord, helps" and "God is salvation".

Mother Mary: Mary is the mother of Jesus mentioned in the New Testament. She lived with her husband Joseph in the village of Nazareth in Galilee. Mary's coat almost always has the colour blue, which is regarded as a heavenly colour and stands for faith and faithfulness. Mary is especially venerated in Christianity as the mother of Jesus Christ and is also mentioned in the Koran as the virgin mother of Jesus.

Joseph the Father: Joseph of Nazareth is the Bridegroom of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, in the New Testament. His profession was carpenter, which is why in the Christian tradition he is also called "the carpenter". However, Joseph was not the maker of Jesus, he was only the legal Father, because Mary received Jesus through the action of the Holy Spirit. He either carries a lantern in his hand or rests on a staff. In this way he symbolizes the Protector.

Ox and donkey: "The ox knows his owner and the donkey the manger of his Lord; but Israel has no knowledge, my people has no understanding", Isaiah (chapter 1 verse 3). The ox as "pure" animal symbolizes the Jewish people, the donkey as "unclean" animal the pagan and other believing peoples. Furthermore, the donkey and ox symbolize animals serving which are loaded with burdens. Jesus was a king, but had to carry many burdens.

The three holy kings: The so-called "astrologers", who were led to Jesus by the heavenly star from Bethlehem, are called the holy three kings or also wise men from the Orient. An exact number or exact names of the "astrologers" were never actually made in the Bible, but by an extensive legend formation the names Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar spread in the west church.

The cross: Jesus Christ was crucified on a cross. Thus it symbolizes on the one hand the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, on the other hand the connection between the earthly (horizontal axis of the cross) and the heavenly or divine (vertical axis). The cross as we know it today has not always existed. Over the centuries it constantly changed its shape. The original symbol of Christianity was the "staurogram" and the "Christ monogram". Only in the 5th century did the symbol change to a similar cross as we know it: the "Antonius cross". Over this the "handle cross" developed and afterwards the "Latin cross", as it is today.

Shepherd: Shepherds are simple people. The shepherd was the first to receive the message of the birth of Jesus from the angel. Shepherds guard flocks, which is why they symbolize vigilance. But also openness, because they listened to the angel's message. They also symbolize the departure, because they set off for Bethlehem.

Angels: Angels play an important role in Christianity. There are groups of angels, but there are also individual angels and archangels who have their own names and tasks. The Archangel Gabriel, for example, is the ambassador of God and the Archangel Michael is responsible for the heavenly hosts in the fight against evil and devil.

Clowns: At the beginning of the 16th century English theatre people used clowns to entertain their audiences during breaks in their theatre performances. The role of the clown became widespread, especially in Italy: Arlecchino, Pulcinella (Commedia dell'Arte) and in France: Pedrolino. A typical clown can be recognized by certain characteristics: The much too big multicolored clothes, a curly red wig, a face with white make-up and of course the oversized shoes.