The nativity scene is a portrayal of the place that Jesus was born. It is the basis of the Christmas holiday. According to the Bible and tradition, Joseph and Mary were traveling through Bethlehem and stopped at an inn. There was no room at the inn, so they stayed in a stable where Mary gave birth the Jesus. Nearby, an angel appeared to some shepherds stating, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Some time later, three wise men (or kings or magi) arrived with gifts to adore the child.
The word nativity comes from the Latin word 'natal' which means birth. A typical nativity scene, also called a creche, usually includes some or all of the following: the stable, Jesus in a manger, Mary and Joseph (the parents), cattle, shepherds, angels and wise men.