Iowa man breaks Guinness World Record for largest collection of nativity sets

An Iowa man has broken the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of nativity sets.
Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 8:59 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON, Iowa (KCRG) - After displaying his collection at Hills Bank in Washington last December, an Iowan has found out he broke the Guinness World Record for the largest collection of nativity sets.

Mike Zahs displayed his entire collection as part of the Tour of Homes event coordinated by the Washington Chamber of Commerce last December. It took six weeks to set up the thousands of scenes. Zahs and friends submitted 19 videos, 102 photos, a 227-page listing of inventory, and 11 media articles covering the display. They also answered a questions sheet and provided two witness statements, all for review by Guinness World Records.

Guinness describes the record as “the largest number of items of a single subject in a private, personal collection and [it] is measured by the number of unique items in the collection that meet [the criteria for the record]”

Zahs started his collection in the 1950s. The displays come from more than 100 different countries, the majority of them handcrafted. Following review of the evidence submitted, Zahs is now the current record holder for the Largest Collection of Nativity Sets, with a record of 2,324 nativities. (Zahs has a collection of 2,539 nativity scenes, but some did not qualify for the record, as each was required to have Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and at least one angel, three wise men, shepherd, animal, star, or a stable.)

You can read more about the world record here.