Christmas in Israel is a completely different experience than Christmas in any other part of the world. 70,000 visitors expected to arrive in Israel for the Christmas period.

Celebrating Christmas in Israel 2014

 

Copyright: Ministry of Tourism www.goisrael.com / Dafna Tal

Christmas in Israel is a completely different experience than Christmas in any other part of the world. Here there is the opportunity to spend Christmas in the ancient and beautiful city of Jerusalem; visit Bethlehem; and participate in Christmas Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth.

The Tourism Ministry is working in cooperation with the Church and other bodies to facilitate the celebration of the Christmas festivities for the 70,000 visitors expected to arrive in Israel for the Christmas period. For 24 hours from noon on Christmas Eve through to noon on Christmas Day, the Ministry of Tourism will offer free shuttle transportation, helping pilgrims travelling between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Christmas in Jerusalem

With dozens of churches scattered throughout the Christian Quarter of the Old City, near the Old City and in the neighborhood of Ein Karem, and located only six kilometers from Bethlehem, Jerusalem is a very special place to be to celebrate the holiday of Christmas.

You can join Midnight Mass and other Christmas services at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, or participate in the annual Christmas program of Christ Church, located immediately inside Jaffa Gate, for an evening of Christmas carols preceding the mass. Those looking to avoid the crowds may enjoy exploring other Christian holy sites such as Mary’s Dormition Church on Mount Zion, the Tomb of the Virgin on the Mount of Olives and the Garden Tomb, popular with Protestants.

Celebrating Christmas in Israel 2014

Fireworks explode during a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in
Jerusalem’s Old City – Dec 19, 2014

Copyright: Reuters

Christmas in Nazareth

Nazareth hosts a Christmas Market held from 11-15 December 11-15, where you can shop for traditional Christmas sweets, gifts, and decorations. The annual traditional lighting of the Christmas tree, near the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation also takes place on December 11.

On Christmas Eve (December 24), the annual Christmas Parade starts at 15:00), ending at the plaza in front of the Basilica with a firework display, sponsored by the Tourism Ministry, to announce the opening of the festive Christmas celebrations at 17:30. Christmas Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica of the Annunciation at 19:00. On Christmas Day, all Catholic Churches have Mass.

Christmas in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv might be "The City That Never Sleeps" but it’s not particularly renowed for celebrating Christmas. The one place to really celebrate Christmas is Immanuel Church in Jaffa. Special events throughout December include a Christman Workshop for making cards and decorations, Christmas Baking, a Christmas Carol Evening and Christmas Tree Decoration, culminating in the Christmas Eve and Midnight services, and Christmas Day service.