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The birth of Jesus Christ, celebrated in the Christian Church on 25 December; traditional representations of this show the stable, Mary and Jesus, Joseph (often a little to one side), an ox and an ass, and often the shepherds kneeling in adoration. Recorded from Middle English, the word comes via Old French from Latin, ultimately from nativus ‘arisen by birth’.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).

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