[kresh, kreysh; Fr. kresh]
crèche, representation of the Infant Jesus in the manger, usually surrounded by figures of Mary, Joseph, shepherds, animals, and the Wise Men; also called Christmas Crib. The crèche has been displayed in churches during the period from Christmas Eve to Jan. 6 since the Middle Ages, especially after St. Francis of Assisi instituted the custom in 1223 at Gréccio, Italy. It is a Christmas tradition in many homes. The term crèche is also applied to a day nursery.
Crèche (also spelled creche or cresch) is a French word that means day care. In English it may mean:

  • Day care center (especially in some Commonwealth countries), an organisation of adults who take care of children in place of their parents.
  • Crèche (zoology), care of other's young offspring provided by animals.
  • Nativity scene, a group of figures arranged to represent the birth of Jesus Christ. Also called "crib," especially in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries.

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