Difference between Creche and Nativity

Key Difference: In Christianity, Creche and Nativity scene are considered to be synonymous. They represent the birth of Jesus Christ.  A set of statutes are generally used to represent this occasion and this scene is usually displayed during the Christmas season.

Generally, Creche refers to a place where young children are cared for during the day in the absence of parents. It includes children from a wide range of age groups, including young babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Nativity is used to refer to the birth of a person. However, it also considers various facts related to the birth, like time and place.

Apart from their other meanings, both Creche and Nativity are commonly used words in Christianity. In Christianity, they refer to a symbolic representation of birth of Jesus Christ. A Nativity is often referred to as a Nativity scene. Creche is also used in the same context in the religion of Christianity. Nativity scenes display figures or statues representing the infant Jesus in the manger, his mother Mary, and Joseph. Some other characters are also depicted in the scene. A Nativity scene or Creche is also known as a manger scene or crib.

Various cultures have Nativity scenes with different flavors. The Creche or a Nativity seen is basically a miniature representation of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. The characters are depicted according to the gospels of Matthew and Luke.                

St. Francis of Assisi is credited to promote and popularize the concept of a Creche. In 1223, during Christmas, he told his friend that he is planning to construct a memorial in memory of the birth of Jesus Christ. He used a simple crib scene to represent the event of Jesus Christ’s birth. Since then, these representations have become an important part of the Christmas celebrations.

Comparison between Creche and Nativity:





Creche is the French term for a Nativity, manger, or crib scene.

It represents the birth of Jesus Christ.  A set of statutes are used to indicate the occasion and this scene is displayed during Christmas.


Middle English: from Old French nativite, from late Latin nativitas, from Latin nativus 'arisen by birth'

French: from Old French creche manger, crib, of Germanic origin; akin to Old

Other Meanings

A day nursery for very young children.

A hospital for orphaned infants; a foundling hospital.

The event of being born, especially in relation to the circumstances surrounding it.


Visual representation of Nativity

Story of Jesus Christ’s birth

Image Courtesy: colliedoscope.blogspot.com

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