Starting now, we can "do the nativity scene". It is an important moment in family life in Provence, where santons are passed down through the generations.
The nativity scene is a "manger in the form of a box of varying length and set up on a stand, which, possibly, could be used as a bed".
It seems that the nativity scene is very old : we credit its invention to Saint Françis of Assisis, who represented the day of the Nativity in an abandoned stable, using real people and animals. With the French Revolution, the custom of making a nativity scene in each family household was born.
The typical nativity scene is, in fact, the ideal representation of a Provençal village, where everyone has their place, including pets ; the décor is a projection, in 2 parts, of life in the community with its houses, its wells, its communal oven, the watermill, the snow, the pines, the olive trees and... the lit up sky... and then, a stable with the baby Jesus, the Virgin Mary, Joseph, the donkey and the cow, the shooting star that later guides the wise men, and the people who have come to see them.
This beautiful Provençal tradition was not long in spreading to other regions of France. We "undo" the nativity scene on the day of Candlemas.