Christmas in the Holy Land 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, to visit Bethlehem, participate in Christmas Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth along with many other meaningful places throughout the country.
During the holiday, the Ministry of Tourism will offer free transportation, helping pilgrims travelling between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Buses will leave as necessary from Mar Elias Monastery to the Church of the Nativity, and back again and will operate non-stop from noon on 24 December through noon on 25 December. Representatives from the Ministry of Tourism will welcome tourists and pilgrims at Rachel’s Crossing with a gift bag containing a set of coasters depicting scenes of the Holy Land and chocolate in the spirit of the holiday. Tickets for the Midnight Mass in Bethlehem can be requested up to 17 December at http://cicts.org/default.asp?id=739
Schedule of events for Christmas in Nazareth:
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 - Sunday, December 15, 2013
All day - Traditional Christmas market, selling Christmas decorations, gifts etc. Located in the area around Mary's Well. The traditional lighting of the Christmas tree, located by the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation (11 December)
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
3:30 p.m. - Traditional parade of thousands of youth from youth movements, together with the leaders of the Christian communities, through the main street of Nazareth. The parade ends at the plaza in front of the Basilica.
5:30 p.m. - Fireworks display sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism, to announce the opening of the festive Christmas celebrations.
7:00 p.m. - Christmas Mass in the Basilica of the Annunciation
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
All Catholic Churches have Mass. At the Church of the Annunciation, the first Mass will begin at 7:00 a.m. At 10:00 a.m., a festive Mass will take place.
Information on all the Christmas services will be uploaded in the near future to the website of the Christian Information Center at www.cicts.org.
Information currently available:
http://www.goisrael.com/Evng (the Ministry of Tourism’s dedicated site for Evangelical Christians)