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Celebrating Christmas in Israel 2014
Christmas in Israel is a completely different experience than Christmas in any other part of the world.

Santa in Jerusalem

Copyright: Ministry of Tourism / 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.




During the holiday, the Ministry of Tourism will offer free 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. 



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 15:30), followed by a fireworks display at 17:30, and Midnight Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation. 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.



Source: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs



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