A Guide to Celebrating Christmas in Israel 2019Holidays

A Guide to Celebrating Christmas in Israel 2019

Even though I am Jewish, Christmas was always a magical time of year in London. The Christmas trees, carol singers and Santa Claus all over the city. Living in Israel, I love celebrating the Jewish holidays, but it is also beautiful to embrace the practices of other religions and celebrate their holidays with them.

Whether you are living in Israel or just visiting, here is a guide to help you find some Christmas cheer in Israel.

Bethlehem

Abraham Hostels organizes a daytime Bethlehem Christmas Eve Tour which includes visits to the Shepherds’ Field, Milk Grotto, Church of the Nativity, Manger Square and lunch at a local restaurant. They also organize shuttles to and from Bethlehem for Christmas Midnight Mass. Tickets for the Bethlehem Midnight Mass are free of charge but need to be reserved in advance.

Jerusalem

Here is a selection of some of the larger Christmas related events taking place in Jerusalem:

Nazareth

Christmas celebrations in Nazareth start with a Christmas Market in Mary’s Well Square, 17-21 December. On Christmas Eve, the annual Christmas Parade starts at 3pm from Mary’s Well Square and Christmas Eve Mass is held in the Basilica of the Annunciation.

The Western Galilee area, close to Nazareth, hosts a Winter Festival to celebrate Christmas and Hanukah. This year’s festival will include over 30 events for all the family and will take place on 19-21 December. Events include art and craft workshops, festive meals, concerts and outdoor activities.

Haifa

The annual Holiday of Holidays Festival has been celebrated in the diverse city of Haifa for the last 25 years. It takes place in Beit Hagefen, Wadi Nisnas and the German Colony and brings together the Christians, Jews and Muslims of the city. This year’s festival takes place 19-29 December and the events include concerts in churches, stage performances, street performers, children’s theater and art exhibitions. Information on all the events can be found on the Haifa Holidays of Holiday Festival website.

Christmas Eve Mass is held at Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa.

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The Holiday of Holidays 2013

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Jaffa

The iconic Christmas tree next to the Clock Tower welcomes you to Jaffa’s Old Town. Christmas in Jaffa kicks off with a Christmas Market on 13-14 December, followed by the tree lighting ceremony takes place on 15 December with a musical performance by the Jaffa’s Orthodox Christian scout members.

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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