Yes, Israel is the Jewish homeland. But as you've seen in our culture blogs, there are ALL different kinds of people coexisting in Israel. Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze - the list goes on! So yes, Christmas is celebrated in Israel. Here are our top 5 cities for celebrating Christmas in Israel!
Particularly in the Old City, this is a great place to go. The Christian & Armenian quarters are of course decked out. Though plans may change for Corona you can still for sure go there, see the Christmas markets, beautiful twinkling lights, and festive decor.
Haifa is known for the concept of "coexistence." Jews, Christians, and Muslims all come together here. Alongside the menorah stands a Christmas tree, and you can check out a few open-air events too! The "Holiday of Holidays" is a way for all the major religions to come together and celebrate together. There's a craft fair, antique fair, and lots of great food. It's scheduled for December 20-29, depending on the COVID situation it will hopefully be happening!
Jesus is said to have been born in Nazareth, so of course, Christmas is a big deal here. The city is mostly Christian, and this means it's the place to be for the holiday. Trees, parties, and church services galore (before COVID that is) this year it might be with fewer gatherings, but it will still be festive!
Year after year, a huge Christmas tree is lit up next to the Clock Tower in Yafo. It will stay lit up until mid-January. The Immanuel Church in Yafo is a great place to go on Christmas, though it may have limits on the number of people due to COVID. Either way, if you want to stay in the Tel Aviv area but still feel the Christmas spirit, Yafo is the place to go!
Midnight mass is said to be very special in Bethlehem. There are lots of church services, processions, and pilgrimages going on. You can for sure find something that suits you, just be sure (as with everything this year) to double-check that it is still scheduled to happen!
What's your favorite place to celebrate Christmas in Israel? Let us know in the comments!