Christmas

Christmas

Celebrating Christmas in Bethlehem is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Filled with energy, light, and warmth, Bethlehem offers not only the opportunity to visit the Church of Nativity where Jesus was born along with many other important sites but an opportunity to partake in Midnight Mass and celebrate Christmas with an international community.

In Bethlehem there are three Christmases. The Catholics, or Latins as they are called, celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December. The Latin Patriarch arrives from Jerusalem to Bethlehem by car. Because of the protocols, he is allowed to cross through the checkpoint over the Hebron Road. He does not have to take the way around through the checkpoint. Twice a year for the Latins and twice for the Orthodox, on Christmas and Easter, the patriarch is accompanied by a great number of Christian scout groups when he passes through Star Street towards the Nativity church. The scout groups play drums, wind instruments and, surprisingly, bagpipes. The same scenario can be witnessed on the 7th of January when the Orthodox Christians celebrate their Christmas. And on the 19th of January it is time for the Armenian Christians to celebrate their Christmas. This is because the Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem still abides by the ancient Julian calendar.

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