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away in a manger

Photos: The world's biggest nativity scene happened this week

One thousand people, some wise men, a donkey and a camel…

IN THE END, it was a lot bigger than just a small family in a manger with a scattering of onlookers.

Nativity Scene Record AP AP

Exactly 1,039 people turned out in a park in the US state of Utah earlier this week to set a new Guinness world record for the largest live nativity scene.

As well as hundreds of angels, some wise men and shepherds, there was also one donkey, a camel, and some sheep, the Daily Herald of Provo reported.

Despite the massive logistics involved, the plan to break the record was put together in less than one month. Organisers used social media to ask people to register to turn up, warning that they would have to be willing to stand in the cold (it was around 7 degrees Celsius on the day) for between five and seven hours.

10696312_617394025050758_737701470618470043_n Live Nativity World Record Live Nativity World Record

Organisers said that breaking the record was not the most important thing about the day.

“We wanted to do it simply to show the world what Christmas is all about,” said Derral Eves, one of the producers. “It is not all the presents, but it is about the true gift of Christmas – Jesus Christ”.

Nativity Scene-Guinness Record AP AP

The vast majority of participants were Mormons, but people from many faiths turned up on the day to take part, organisers said. A number of performers and YouTube celebrities also took part.

The turnout broke the previous record for a nativity scene of 898 people which was set just last year in the UK.

The group will release a full video of the event on YouTube this week.

Nativity Scene Record AP AP

Additional reporting: Associated Press

Read: 8 of the greatest school Nativity moments ever > 

Read: Christmas school rituals every Irish child knows > 

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